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The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Contemporary fiction

The Dinner List

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by Rebecca Serle

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Quick Take

If you could invite any five people—dead or alive—to dinner, who would you choose?

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Happy

    Happy

  • Illustrated icon, Light_Read

    Light read

  • Illustrated icon, Supernatural

    Supernatural

  • Illustrated icon, Quirky

    Quirky

Synopsis

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 30th 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.

Why I love it

As someone who has watched Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s more times than I can count, I was immediately sucked into The Dinner List, which is about a normal woman who shows up to dinner only to find Audrey Hepburn, snifter of scotch in hand, sitting at the table. The premise of the book is brilliant: If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would you choose? What would you uncover in that one night?

The story takes place all in one night, at a birthday party for Sabrina (note the namesake here) that four notable people from her past—along with Audrey—attend. It also takes place across an entire decade-long relationship between Sabrina and the great love of her life, Tobias. In one chapter, we’re placed in this mystical dinner setting, and in the next, we’re being fed pieces of their relationship that leave you questioning—what happened between them? We learn not just about Sabrina’s relationship with Tobias, but also about her more strained connections with her father, Robert, as well as with her best friend, Jessica. There’s also a wise and eccentric professor from her college days, oh, and did I mention Audrey Hepburn?

The Dinner List made me swoon, dream, and wonder. While wrapped up in the book, I almost felt as if this too could happen to me. That one night I might wind up at dinner with people who I’ve loved and lost, and finally get a chance to say what I always wished I had said before.

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
How to Read a Book
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
A Summer Affair
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Evil Eye
Maame
Advika and the Hollywood Wives
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
Olga Dies Dreaming
If Only I Could Tell You
How Lucky
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
Honey Girl
One Italian Summer
Eight Hundred Grapes
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Nest
Rich and Pretty
Britt-Marie Was Here
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Startup
The Identicals
The Dinner List
Goodbye, Paris
Winter in Paradise
A Woman Is No Man
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beyond the Point
What Happens in Paradise
Nothing to See Here
When We Were Vikings
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Removed
The Kindest Lie
Good Company
Impostor Syndrome
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket