What five people, living or dead, would you choose to have dinner with?
We've all been asked this question, and in "The Dinner List", Rebecca Serle takes it on and uses it to weave a beautiful, dreamy story.
At the opening of the story, the narrator, Sabrina, finds herself seated in an Italian restaurant with the love of her life, her best friend, her dad, her favorite college professor, and...Audrey Hepburn. As the story unfolds, Sabrina is forced to confront issues with the most important people in her life. She is challenged to rethink long held views and get past her own emotional hang-ups for a chance at healing and reconciliation.
This book's tone reminded me a lot of the television show Younger. The main character and her friends and boyfriend are very Brooklyn hipster (even if Sabrina prefers Manhattan) and I'm not going to lie, it worked for me. I loved the references to places around New York City and Serle made me believe that she was an authority on it, which matters to me.
The relationships that find themselves at the center of the story were just messy enough to be interesting, and the way the story unfolds, dancing between fantasy and reality, definitely kept the pages turning. "The Dinner List" features quick chapters and a low page count that makes it one of those rare stories you can binge read in a day. It reads young and fresh and maybe a little corky. And while the appearance of Audrey Hepburn as one of the characters rang a little odd, I'm always up for her presence anywhere for any reason, so I went with it.
If the goal of this book was to reveal deep truths, it fell short for me. The word "young" keeps popping into my mind, and in the sense of lessons learned, it felt like a young voice was trying to deliver life lessons to me. I didn't come away with any newfound revelations. However, if the goal was to tell a love story in a fresh, new way, it definitely succeeded. It is perfect if you're looking for a great weekend read with a nice big dose of romance. And if you're an Audrey Hepburn fan? No question this one is for you.
Flatiron Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.