The Dinner List is an imaginative, heart-wrenching tale that asks its narrator, Sabrina, if she could invite five people to dinner who would it be? Her list consists of her father, her best friend, her boyfriend, an old college professor, and Audrey Hepburn. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she is surprised to find that it isn't just her best friend Jessica in attendance. There is tension at the table though, as it is revealed there is a purpose behind the special guests being there. Rebecca Serle explores personal growth, forgiveness, and acceptance as the dinner progresses from simple topics to those that weigh Sabrina down daily.
We've all pondered over this question at some point in our life; would we pick someone famous or maybe someone we had lost? For Sabrina, she selects those she knows and loves, someone she wants to know, someone she wants to learn more from, and a woman she idolizes and connects to many important parts of her life. The story begins at the table, with alternating chapters taking us back into Sabrina's past. We learn about her friendships, her relationships, and the events that lead to the dinner. It's a sentimental tale, one where we see Sabrina grow and accept that she must both forgive others and forgive herself if she is to ever succeed going forward. I loved how the story was crafted, directing large moments in Sabrina's life and revealing to us the impact those events had on her and on others. It's imaginative, a story that I know has been done in the past, but has not left such a lasting impact on me. It's also incredibly sentimental, this feeling of wanting someone or something, being able to touch it, but knowing it isn't tangible once the dinner is over.
This sounds sort of odd, considering I did give 4.5 Stars and not 5 Stars, but The Dinner List is a novel that NEEDS to be on your TBR list. I wasn't engaged the first 40% of the novel, I struggled to want to continue reading and I admit the only thing that kept me reading was the other reviews I had seen. Then came the nitty-gritty, deep part of the novel and I was done for. Once the story picked up I was turning the pages so quickly and trying to get every bit out of this novel I could. With tears streaming down my face and my heart aching I finished this novel in love with it. I highlighted so many passages and have thought of it several times since finishing it a few days ago. It's a fantastic chick-lit novel, with main character, Sabrina, questioning life, love, and the future she must create for herself.