The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Flatiron Books
About the Book:
We’ve been waiting for an hour. That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed. At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends within her utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

Full disclosure: I picked this book up to take a break from thrillers, I loved the covers (both North American and Overseas) of this book as well. I am also a big Audrey Hepburn fan, especially in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I am so glad this book caught my attention!

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.
Whatever point you are at in life, this book will resonate with you. Whether you have struggled to find your niche - or looked back at certain crossroads and wondered at the path not taken..... or if you have yet to make your mark on the world or indeed peaked too early, there is something here for you to think about. Normally one can pause and find fault with a book, even a small one... but I just can't do that with this title. I cannot begin to find the right adjectives to describe the feelngs that remain after finshing the book. It is a roller coaster ride of pure emotion. I had no idea that the it would end in the way it did.

Life is growth. If we stop growing, we are as good as dead.
Funny, lovely, beautifully structured book that felt so real I almost 'lived' it. The characterisation is brilliant, honest - at times painfully so, witty and true. It's moving without being sentimental or clumsily manipulative.

Let me sit with you in silence. Let me hold your hand and understand.
I particularly admired Rebecca Serle's ability to draw both female and male characters so accurately without any sense that one gender had to be denigrated in order for the other to be identified with. And the fact she wrote for such a famous actress just blew me away. It was so real, the words she had Ms. Hepburn speaking. All the characters are wonderfully and endearingly flawed.

The story shifts between the dinner and Sabrina's relationship with Tobias, and the words leap up off the page and create a whole world for you to immerse yourself into. The characters are truly realistic, and I felt by the end of the book that I too had spent an evening with them. The details and the relationships created were so real, they were sometimes cringe worthy. I think I expected it to be a love story, when in reality it was simply a story following two people's lives sometimes in love and sometimes not.

The premis was an interesting one, so very unique and I definitely wanted to find out what happened to these characters, next. I am still thinking about the book even though I finished it last night, that says something.


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