I received a complimentary copy of “The Dinner”. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.
Upon finding out that one of the October books for From Left to Write book club was titled The Dinner, I became understandably excited. I’d already heard of the novel and not only was I excited to get a copy of a book with a loooong wait-list at my library, but that novel takes place over the course of a meal at a fancy restaurant. Um, how up my alley is that?!
It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
As you may recall from previous posts, From Left to Write book club encourages members to write not a review but a post inspired by the book they read. As you can imagine, this book in particular inspired plenty in me! What stuck out to me most was the way the highly-cynical narrator (Paul) pointed out many subtle restaurant nuances that to him, seem absolutely ridiculous. I had to laugh because I’d seen plenty of them before!