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The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
Contemporary fiction

The Dinner List

Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Rebecca Serle

Quick take

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

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Happy

    Happy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LightRead

    Light read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural

    Supernatural

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Quirky

    Quirky

Why I love it

Natalie Reece
Creator of Birchbox Book Club

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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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.

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of Rebecca Serle's The Dinner List.

Member thoughts

All (5315)
All (5315)
Love (2012)
Like (2663)
Dislike (640)
5473 ratings
  • 37% Love
  • 49% Like
  • 12% Dislike
  • Swans Island, ME

    This wasn’t something I was looking forward to reading. I had no idea if I would like it but I gave it a chance and I’m glad I did. It was amazing. Made me cry and definitly made me happy I ordered it

  • Saint Petersburg, FL

    This book actually made me cry, but in a good way. I loved the story and it felt like everyone’s day dream of “what if” and “if only”. The ending was bittersweet and worth the read. I loved it.

  • Wayside, NJ

    I love this book and read through it much too quickly. The characters are well read as well. The fact that I’m a big Audrey Hepburn fan girl made me want to read it..... the content made me devour it.

  • Hudson, NH

    Let me start off by saying that the fact the main character’s name is Sabrina and my name is Sabrina was a big draw. I absolutely loved this book and simultaneously sobbed through most of the ending.

  • Belmont, NY

    I finished this book in two nights. It’s a quick read but isn’t without depth. The character’s hearts are too real; I couldn’t stop crying for at least five minutes after I turned the last page.

  • San Antonio, TX

    I loved this book! I’m a sucker for magical realism, but this just seemed like so much more. The plot twists, the love, redemption, heartache - it was all so tangible. Easily one of my favorite books!

  • West Brookfield, MA

    A beautiful story that I couldn’t put down. A quick read that expressed emotions within relationships we may take for granted and how easily the people we love the most can be taken away unexpectedly.

  • Hartford, IA

    I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this book. There was a turn in the middle of the book that I did not see coming and it caught my emotions off guard. I couldn’t put it down!

  • Peachtree corners, GA

    I’m so glad someone finally wrote a book about inviting your favorite people dead or alive to dinner. I laughed, cried and desperately hoped for reconciliation and forgiveness. A heart-wrenching read

  • Hazlet, NJ

    I didn’t expect to enjoy this book because the premise was too implausible but I loved the way every supporting character gave a new layer of insight into the main character. Thought provoking + sweet

  • Memphis, NY

    I truly loved this book. It was such a heartbreaking and wonderful story all wrapped up in one. It made you really think about your own 5 and what you’d say. Definitely shed a few tears as I read this

  • Conshohocken, PA

    I’ve never read anything like this book before! I have lent this book out to several people & I love the discussions we have once they have finished reading. Bet this would be great for a book club!

  • Festus, MO

    This book had me feeling a wide range of emotions and I couldn’t set it down. I finished it in one sitting. I grew wildly attached to the characters and felt their laughs and sadness with each page.

  • Phoenix , AZ

    I really loved this book. The characters seemed so real. I especially loved that Audrey Hepburn was one of the chatacters; reading everything she said and how she reacted was great, she was my favorite

  • Kingsport, TN

    I couldn't put this book down! I finished it in 3 days. Haha it took that many because of work and sleep. Lol Rebecca Serle is awesome! No dry parts at all, the story was also easy to follow. Thumbs up

  • Bridgewater, MA

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. I certainly didn't imagine how emotional I would be reading this book. I highly recommend this book! I will start thinking of my dinner list now

  • Clayville , NY

    This was my first pick joining BOTM and I am so happy with my choice. The story came full circle beginning to end. A quick, thoughtful, beautiful read. Please someone make this into a movie?! please?

  • Pittsburgh, PA

    I started this book not knowing what to expect and it was a delight. I couldnt put it down. It is a bit reality mixed with fantasy and is about forgivness and letting go with a few surprising twists.

  • Ocala, FL

    I honestly did not except to even like this book, much less love it but I find myself sitting here with my soul splayed wide open and my shirt sleeves still saturated from catching my tears. LOVED IT.

  • pittsburgh, PA

    I loved the premise of this book: having the chance to spend time with a loved one you've lost. Being able to ask the questions you never thought to ask or never had the chance to...in essence closure

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