Thursday, May 16, 2013

Table For Seven by Whitney Gaskell

4 Star

On New Year’s Eve, Fran and Will Parrish host a dinner party, serving their friends a gourmet feast. The night is such a success that the group decides to form a monthly dinner party club. But what starts as an excuse to enjoy the company of fellow foodies ends up having lasting repercussions on each member of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club.

Fran and Will face the possibility that their comfortable marriage may not be as infallible as they once thought. Audrey has to figure out how to move on and start a new life after the untimely death of her young husband. Perfectionist Jaime suspects that her husband, Mark, might be having an affair. Coop, a flirtatious bachelor who never commits to a third date, is blindsided when he falls in love for the first time. Leland, a widower, is a wise counselor and firm believer that bacon makes everything taste better.

Over the course of a year, against a backdrop of mouthwatering meals, relationships are forged, marriages are tested, and the members of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club find their lives forever changed.

Kaley - 4 Star

Table for Seven is one of those books that leaves you feeling happy as you turn the last page. Does that mean everything ends with a perfect happily ever after? Not necessarily. Whitney Gaskell has written a lovely novel about friendships and relationships and how important those things are in life.

This was a really good ensemble novel. I got to take a peek into several different lives and I felt like I really got to know the characters. I think the alternating perspectives helped me enjoy the novel more than I would have had the story only focused on one person or couple. That being said, as is the case with most ensemble books, there were characters that seemed to be at the centre of the novel. In this book that couple was Fran and Will. Unfortunately, Fran drove me a little crazy. She seems to think Will doesn’t care about her or their marriage anymore so she embarks on an emotional affair. It was frustrating because she didn’t have any reason to doubt Will’s feelings for her. This was one of those cases of a couple being too comfortable and not bothering to communicate. Even though I liked getting the insight into all of the couples’ lives, I wanted more focus to be put on Audrey and Coop. Also, Leland was such a fun character but he didn’t play a huge part in the novel. The only time I really got to read about him was when he was at one of the dinners and I felt like he had more to offer to the story.

The monthly dinner parties provided a unique element to the novel. It was a fun way to get all the characters together and allowed personalities to be exposed a little more. For example, we can tell how important the dinner is to Jaime and she wants to make sure everything is perfect. Her husband, on the other hand, can’t usually be bothered to show up on time. It’s telling and gives a hint to the others, and the reader, that everything is not always as it seems.

I finished Table for Seven with a smile on my face. I was really happy with the journey that all the characters went through and how they dealt with the issues they faced and how they changed because of those issues. If you’re looking for a feel good novel with heart, pick up Whitney Gaskell’s latest novel. As for me, I’m going to keep an eye out for her next novel as well as taking a look at her previous books.

Thank you to Bantam for our review copy! All opinions are our own.

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