Review: Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskill

Title: Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskill
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 418 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

A warm and witty novel about friendship, fine dining, and learning that life doesn’t always turn out quite how we expect it to—perfect for fans of Barbara O’Neal and Nancy Thayer

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.

The Review:

Spanning a year in the life of seven friends, Whitney Gaskill’s Table for Seven is a heartwarming novel about the sometimes complicated relationships between husbands, wives and friends. An eclectic cast of characters brings this delightful story vibrantly to life as they go through the various ups and downs of love, marriage and friendship.

On the surface, Fran and Will have the perfect marriage. But as the story progresses, their marriage slowly crumbles under the weight of dealing with tumultuous teenagers and Fran’s growing attraction to another man. Like many long married couples, they have drifted apart and sometimes take one another granted.

Jamie and Mark Wexler’s marriage is already strained in the beginning of Table for Seven. Jaime is the primary caregiver of their two young children and stepmom to Mark’s daughter from his first marriage. Mark’s devotion to his daughter’s burgeoning tennis career is a source of frustration to Jamie as the demands of motherhood threaten to overwhelm her. As he spends more time away from home, she becomes increasingly suspicious that he is having an affair.

Audrey Dickson and Coop are two of the singles in the group. A widow of seven years, Audrey Dickinson is a Fran’s closest friend. Audrey is content with her single status and she resists Fran’s matchmaking efforts. Coop is Will’s best and oldest friend. A confirmed bachelor, he is sexy and he knows it, but he is so likable it is easy to overlook his cockiness. Coop’s interest in Audrey is piqued when she proves resistant to his to his considerable charms.

Rounding out the seven friends is octogenarian widow Leland McCullogh. A retired judge, he is a keen observer who freely dispenses insightful advice to the younger members of the group. He plays a small but essential role in the unfolding drama and I liked his character the best.

Whitney Gaskill’s monthly dinner party concept for Table for Seven provides a unique and fascinating backdrop for the various story arcs. The dynamics between the assorted characters are quite interesting and the bonds of friendship are challenged throughout the story. Revelations are met with some surprising reactions and loyalties continue to shift and change as the different storylines play out.

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