Overall Rating: So-So 🤷🏻♀️
With my wedding quickly approaching (it’s just two weeks from Friday!) I’ve had to slow down a bit on my reading this month. You’ll notice my posts are a bit more spread out than usual for August (and most likely September) but I promise all will be back to normal come October!
Even with being incredibly busy, I won’t give up on getting through all my book of the month picks each month – starting with The Dinner List.
We’ve all faced the same question at some point in time; “What five people, living or dead, would you like to have dinner with?” We’d never expect this hypothetical question to come to life but when Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds herself surrounded by the people she’s analyzed and listed off countless times – her best friend, her estranged father, a past professor, her ex-fiancé (Tobias), and Audrey Hepburn. As wine is poured and dinner begins it becomes clear that there’s a reason this group has been brought together.
I loved the idea behind The Dinner List and thought the last quarter of the book was fantastic but the first half and it’s build felt slow and fell a bit short for me in some areas. The chapters alternate between the dinner and flash back chapters of Sabrina’s past. It’s still unclear to me if those flash back chapters were simply Sabrina reminiscing or if they were her telling her story to those at the dinner table.
The narrative ended up being an extremely tragic and heart wrenching love story full of missed opportunity and regret, one that was beautifully told but overtook the entire storyline. Sabrina’s relationship with each of the five guests is briefly touched on but their detail falls extremely short when compared to the depth we see in her narrative of her relationship with Tobias. I would have liked to learn more about the relationships behind the other people who were brought to table.
Another aspect of this novel that felt unanswered to me was the how? How did this all come to be? What magic or divinity was behind the experience? Was it just a dream? Will the other living member or the dinner party remember the experience? The why of the story was clearly explained and provided an excellent background to Sabrina’s life struggles and experiences but how this all came to be fell short for me.
Overall, I did really enjoy this read but there were so many unanswered questions and more I wanted to know more about. At only 288 pages, I do feel there was room to add a bit more detail to the storyline.
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