The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle had been popping up on the various screens in my life so I decided to give it a listen. It’s relatively short – only about 6 hours of audio – and was an easy, fast-paced read. Serle’s premise is unique and intriguing, a good introduction into romance for those who don’t normally read this genre. Like many of us, her protagonist, Sabrina, had written a list of the 5 people – living or dead – with whom she’d like to have dinner. On the night of her birthday dinner, those five people show up, including Audrey Hepburn.
The novel takes you through a passionate romance between Sabrina and her near-mythical Tobias, cast into perspective through the lenses of those at the dinner. I sometimes found it hard to cheer for either Tobias – a lone wolf artist college boi who never evolved – or Sabrina – a determined but naïve woman determined to prioritize romantic love above all else. Their self-obsession and assuredness that they are “unique” and their love is “special” can be irritating. Nevertheless, their stories are intriguing and I frequently wondered if Serle was presenting the entire affair as a way to explore the different modalities of Love.
A fast-paced read packed with plenty of character intrigue and emotion, I recommend The Dinner List for fans of Liane Moriarty, thought provoking romance, those who enjoyed the premise of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and voracious readers.