Five words from the blurb: teenage, sons, crime, protect, responsibility
The Dinner is a fast paced roller coaster of a read. It is set over a single evening in which two couples get together for dinner in a fancy restaurant. They need to discuss what to do about their teenage sons, who have committed a terrible crime. Over the course of the evening the reader slowly finds out what happened and sees the effect this has on the different members of the family.
The book is a psychological thriller that looks at parental responsibility and questions how far parents should go to protect their children. The dynamics of the relationships between the different individuals were captured perfectly and it was interesting to see how their interactions changed as they revealed secrets to each other.
There were wonderful snippets of humor and observational insight, particularly around restaurant etiquette. This added a lightness that prevented the otherwise dark subject matter from becoming overbearing:
I can’t fault the structure or pacing of the book, but I’m afraid that the content was dwarfed by the genius of We Need to Talk About Kevin. Although The Dinner was highly entertaining, it didn’t have the same emotional impact as Kevin and it failed to add anything new to the discussion on parental responsibility. I also found the twists towards the end a little unrealistic and so this reduced my enjoyment of it slightly.
I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a gripping read. It has more depth than the average thriller and the number of discussion points make it the perfect book club choice.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
…a very well-balanced read, that touched a number of different taste buds. Kevin from Canada
There are many inner monologues that, while interesting, halt the flow. Dog Ear Discs
The repressed violence and cold manipulation that infects and bursts out of the characters in The Dinner is chilling. Words of Mercury