August 29

Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

This review may actually read like a visit to the counsellor so I apologise at the get-go.

Reason being, Dinner with Edward brought up so many wonderful memories for me about people I loved dearly, who are now gone, and it made me think about why they left such a powerful impression on my life.  It made me remember every spectacular thing about them. And it really got me thinking about what kind of older person I want to be if I am lucky enough to be one.

Who will I surround myself with?

What will interest me?  What will I be passionate – or even just curious about?

What impact will I make?  Who will I be?

Hours of musing have taken place, trust me.

In short, after devouring this novel, I want to be someone like Edward.  I love him.  If I could, I would have dinner with him every night.  He is 93 and his guest is Isabel, a forty something friend of his daughter who strikes up a most beautiful friendship with Edward after his wife Paula dies.

Edward is devastated at the loss of his greatest love and Isabel is going through her own troubles – a disintegrating marriage, relocation to New York, a new and daunting job.  Her unhappiness briefly abates when she starts having regular dinner at Edward’s – and what dinners they are.

Each chapter details the menu, the discussion and the point they are in their lives.  Edward creates beautiful feasts, many based on his secret recipes which are made all the more lovely and inspirational because he took to cooking in his 70s announcing one day to his wife she had done enough, it was now his turn.

The secret to his dinner party success ‘treat family like guests and guests like family‘ is just one of the quotes circled boldly in red in my copy.

If you are looking for a beautiful book about friendship, about relationships and best of all food, look no further.  This is a beauty.  It reminded me a little of the wonderful works by Madeleine St John, a true wordsmith who could create the most mesmerising tales about the most routine of things.  Edward focussed on those routine things because they, the little things,  are all that actually matter in the end.

So Readheads, in short, I simply loved it and  I think you will too. I have returned to it again and again for it’s beautiful lines. It will leave you mildly hungry granted, but consider it an investment into your future because , and trust me when I say this, you will want to be like Edward too.

And you will learn to make some really great scrambled eggs because  I tried it and his secret trick really works.

And that is my, and Edward’s, 2 cents worth….