It’s a familar party game. Put your five favorite people, living or dead, on your Dinner List. This book speculates on what would happen if the dinner actually occurred.
Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner at a trendy restaurant. Seated at the table are the five guests she named. Audrey Hepburn, her college philosophy Professor Conrad, her ex-boyfriend Tobias, her estranged father Robert, and her college best friend Jessica are all relaxed and not surprised to be at dinner together. Sabrina is worried that she is either insane or dreaming.
During dinner, flashbacks show the history Sabrina has with these people and why they were added to her dinner list. However, the focus is Sabrina and Tobias’ relationship and why it ended.
I love the magical realism genre (I’m looking at you Haruki Murakami). This book has a magical atmosphere in a more realistic setting. It was innovative of the author to use an old party game as a plot driver. The conclusion is heartfelt and felt organic to the characters. Be aware that the Dinner List is sad in parts. Several of the dinner guests are dead so any revelations will be ultimately bittersweet with the knowledge unusable after the dinner ends. The Dinner List is highly recommended for fans of Me Before You and the Fault in our Stars. 5 stars!
Thanks to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.