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table for seven – whitney gaskell

Table For Seven

“Meat loaf,” Fran said, wondering if anything sounded less hip and cool.  unless meat loaf was so old-fashioned, it had suddenly become trendy again.  Probably not, she decided.  Unless it was made with bison meat and pureed rutabaga.

I was fortunate to get this as an ARC to review.

On New Year’s Eve, Fran & Will Parrish decide to host a dinner party for a few select friends.  The evening is such a success that they agree to hold it monthly, with one of them hosting each month.

The guests are Fran & Will, perfectionist Jaime and her husband Mark, Fran’s friend Audrey who was widowed very young, Mark’s friend Coop who is around temporarily from his exotic job and Fran & Will’s elderly neighbour Leland who can certainly give ‘the young ones’ a run for their money!

The story then plays out over the next year, based around each dinner party.

Is Jaime and Mark’s relationship under threat from the constant attention needed by his daughter from his previous marriage?  Does Fran need more than Mark is able to give her?  Is Audrey ever going to be ready to allow love back into her life?  Is Leland right about bacon? (Yes. He is!)

I really enjoyed this story. It’s refreshing to read about people more my age (you know, 29…ahem) who are still going through all the same stuff with their relationships and hang-ups as those in your ‘average’ chick-lit about people in their early 20’s.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re married, widowed or a parent – life doesn’t stop dead once you hit 35 or 40…it carries on, and so do all the insecurities and self-questioning that goes with it.

There are some great conversation pieces in this – including a long discussion about bacon (which can only ever be a good thing!).  The characters really came to life, and I felt quite attached to them. *I* wanted to be part of the dinner club!  However, there were a few moments that felt a bit ‘obvious’ (mainly based around Mark).

It’s warm and witty without being soppy and sentimental, with some great lines that give an insight into human nature.

Table for Seven will be published on 23rd April 2013.

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