Dinner List (Serle)

The Dinner List 
Rebecca Serle, 2018
Flatiron Books
288 pp.

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 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.

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a romance for our times. Bon appetit. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
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. (From the publishers).

Book Reviews
Themes of love, loss, and forgiveness weave through this intriguing mix of the real and the fanciful.

Years ago, Sabrina did that old thing of imagining whom she'd invite to a birthday dinner if she could have any five guests, dead or alive. She never thought her fantasy dinner would really happen…. A bittersweet tale of love, loss, and living with the memories.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to start a discussion for THE DINNER LIST … then take off on your own:

1. Why not start with the people on your own dinner list? Who's on it? If you don't have a list, then consider putting one together and share it with the group—the whos and whys.

2. What do you make of Sabrina and Tobias's relationship, or attempt at one? Why can't they seem to make each other happy?

3. What do we learn of Sabrina's difficult connection with her father?

4. What does Professor Conrad add to the party?

5. Same for Audrey Hepburn? What role does she play? How does she connect with different chapters in Sabina's life?

6. One of the themes of The Dinner List is the way in which a tiny incident, one particular decision, which at first seems incidental, can end up having a large impact on our lives. How do you see this play out in The Dinner List—especially in Sabrina's life?

7. Talk about the ways the dinner party ends up changing Sabrina, her perspective and her relationships, especially with Tobias and her father.

8. Talk about the motifs that run throughout The Dinner List: regret, forgiveness, loss, family, and love. How do they manifest themselves during the course of the novel?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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