The Din­ner Par­ty: A Novel

  • Review
By – March 30, 2016

What does the mod­ern Jew­ish fam­i­ly look like today? Maybe it looks a bit like Sylvia’s, whose son is off being a Doc­tor with­out Bor­ders — and dat­ing women whom she dis­ap­proves of. But at least he’s a doc­tor. It’s hav­ing a daugh­ter whose future looks bright — med­ical school, dat­ing a Roth­schild no less! — until she decides to run away to the beach for the sum­mer. Maybe it’s hav­ing a hus­band who helps the best that he can, but con­stant­ly needs your guid­ance to avoid dis­as­ters. Or maybe it’s your oth­er daugh­ter, who has a thriv­ing career — but whose non-Jew­ish boyfriend is ruin­ing all your future wed­ding plans.

Sylvia nav­i­gates all these stres­sors while get­ting ready to host the seder on Passover. And every­thing has to be per­fect — the chef, the chi­na, the table­ware. But alas — life is rarely per­fect, espe­cial­ly when you have impor­tant guests to impress. And don’t be sur­prised when inap­pro­pri­ate guests drop by and make things incred­i­bly awk­ward. Long sim­mer­ing sib­ling rival­ry rears its ugly head as well, as every­one is try­ing their best to be the per­fect host, hus­band, daugh­ter, wife. And while every­one is try­ing to hide their imper­fec­tions, hid­den secrets are just out of sight, wait­ing to be exposed for all to see.

Take a dive into The Din­ner Par­ty and take part in Sylvia’s par­ty with her — and dis­cov­er just how she man­ages her fam­i­ly, guests, and host­ing while try­ing not to bump into any fam­i­ly land­mines. But that’s the prob­lem with guests — you nev­er know who has land­mines of their own.

Read an Excerpt from the Book

Click here to read Seat­ing Arrange­ments, an excerpt from The Din­ner Par­ty by Bren­da Janowitz.

Evie Saphire-Bern­stein is the pro­gram direc­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil. She grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois at Chica­go with a B.A. in Eng­lish and a minor in Jew­ish Stud­ies. Before join­ing the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil team in 2015, she spent a year and a half work­ing with­in the Con­ser­v­a­tive Move­ment as the Net­work Liai­son for the Schechter Day School Net­work. She is a recent trans­plant to New York City, after liv­ing in Chica­go for most of her life. In her spare time, Evie is a writer and blogger.

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