The Dinner List: A Novel by Rebecca SerleThe Dinner List: A Novel by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List: A Novel

byRebecca Serle

Paperback | September 11, 2018

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"I have five words for Rebecca Serle's The Dinner List: wistful, delicious, romantic, magical, love."
-Gabrielle Zevin, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and Young Jane Young

"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 with in 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.

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, THE DINNER LIST is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.

Rebecca Serle is an author and television writer who lives between NYC and LA. Serle most recently co-developed the television adaptation of her YA series FAMOUS IN LOVE for Freeform and Warner Brothers Television. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California.
Title:The Dinner List: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.32 × 6.36 × 0.78 inPublished:September 11, 2018Publisher:Flatiron BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250315832

ISBN - 13:9781250315830

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hope the food was good because dinner was boring Many thanks to Netgalley, Flatiron Books and Rebecca Serle for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advanced copy. So imagine you could choose 5 dinner guests for a once in a lifetime dinner. Living or dead, relative or not - the possibilities are endless. I love the premise for this book. Who would I invite? Would they be connected or random? What are the big questions that I want answered. Sabrina, the main character, chooses wisely, I think. First there is her best friend, Jessica. In some ways they have grown apart because Jessica is married, with a brand new baby. But they both know it is more than that. There is a rift between them and Sabrina doesn’t know if they will be able to make their way back. Also, Jessica knows her everything about her life and can bring perspective in regards to the other dinner guests. Conrad is a professor that Sabrina was very close to, in some ways a surrogate father. Robert is her real father. An alcoholic, he abandoned Sabrina and her mother when Sabrina was very young. He went on to get sober, remarried with new kids and never once reached out to the daughter he left behind. Then there is Tobias, the love of her life. They are not together and Sabrina hopes this dinner can help sort out whether or not they should be together or go their separate ways. The last guest is Audrey, yes that Audrey, Hepburn and still deceased. Audrey’s movies have played a big role in her life and has a special connection to each of the guests. The book is well written and flows nicely. It was an easy read. I just didn’t connect with Sabrina, the other dinner guests and therefore, wasn’t invested in what was happening. I love Audrey Hepburn and I didn’t feel her character was flushed out at all, very flat, which was disappointing. For me, the suspense didn’t build. There are a few reveals along the way - I just didn’t care. I found the main character to be selfish, self absorbed, immature and I didn’t find a way in to like her. Even the dinner guests had to keep saying Hey, we are here just for you and some of us came a very long way! For me, it was a slog. I knew the dinner would have to end and she would find peace with some and not with others. There were lessons along the way, although I’m not convinced Sabrina was open to learning them. Either she was going to be with Tobias or she wasn’t - I was okay with it either way. That is not really my style. I’m usually the romantic that always wants them to be together whether they realistic or not, right for each other or not, I always tend to want it to work out. Although I loved the idea, this didn’t work for me. It did make me ponder on what my dinner might look like and what I might have to say to certain people, or learn and that was fun.
Date published: 2018-09-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Character Heavy Drama Thank you Flatiron Books for a digital copy of The Dinner List for review. It’s Sabrina’s 30th birthday and she is going out to dinner. This one is a little different though, she is going with a group she put on a list years ago, top 5 people dead or alive she would want to have dinner with. Her list includes her estranged father who passed away before they could meet, her university Philosophy professor, her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, and Aubrey Hepburn. An interesting concept, but for me it just didn’t work. I did not like the main character. That is a bigger problem in “bottle episode” type books. You really have to connect with the characters to stay with them through a dinner party in one place and their reminiscing of the past. Sabrina just wasn’t connecting with me and it was hard for me to finish. However, if you love character development, and she or her ex-boyfriend Tobias really connect for you, you are going to LOVE this one. I thought it was well written, just didn’t work for me particularly.
Date published: 2018-09-11

Editorial Reviews

"Imagine that you could gather the people you've loved - dead or alive- at one table, for one night, with a chance to heal yourself once and for all. The Dinner List is a heartbreakingly romantic book framed by such an evening. It's Serle's unflinching investigation into the triumph and failings of love that makes this book one of a kind. A touch magic, a touch tragic, and absolutely compelling from beginning to end."- Stephanie Danler, New York Times bestselling author of Sweetbitter "I read The Dinner List in a single day, unable to tear myself away from this unconventional dinner party. Rebecca Serle draws you in with this clever and delightful story and then (when you least expect it) offers up some of the sharpest insights on first loves, friendships and family. This book is completely original and wildly entertaining."- Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Hopefuls"I have five words for Rebecca Serle's The Dinner List: wistful, delicious, romantic, magical, love." -Gabrielle Zevin, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and Young Jane Young"This fun book will make readers reflect on friendship and lost love and how we remember the past." - Real Simple "Best Books of September" (NewsWeek)"A bittersweet tale of love, loss, and living with the memories." - Kirkus"Themes of love, loss, and forgiveness weave through this intriguing mix of the real and the fanciful."- Booklist "Best Books to Curl Up With This Fall" (PopSugar)"The result is a fun meandering through time that also touches profoundly on the many different types of love we feel for others."-The Betches " The Dinner List offers a menu of keen-eyed, compassionate insights about the relationships that nourish us." - Shelf Awareness