Sunday Dinners by Jon Rance


Synopsis: The Wilde family have always had a roast dinner on Sundays. Greg Wilde made sure of it. Him, his wife, Lizzy, and their three children around the table; for years it was the glue that held them together. 

But now with the children all grown up and moving out, and Greg and Lizzy’s marriage facing an uncertain future, their lives are becoming increasingly unstuck. Greg soon begins to realise that creating a happy family is one thing, but staying that way is an entirely different story. 

Told from each of the family’s perspectives at their monthly Sunday roast dinners, this is a bittersweet comedy about parenthood, marriage, love, life and roast dinners. 

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: Having never read a Jon Rance book I had no pre-conceived ideas about whether I would like it. I certainly liked the sound of the synopsis and even better was that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book is laid out by the month in which the Wilde Family Roast Dinner is taking place. The great British Institute that is a Sunday Roast it is an all too familiar setting, but one which you slim into seamlessly. The family consists of Greg and Lizzy, the husband and wife along with the three children Holly, Lucy and Matt. There is a prologue which gives you enough background from 1995, so that when the book then starts 13 years later you have a broad understanding of the characters.

I have to hold my hands up here and admit that when I realised each chapter represented a family member along with the consecutive months, I wondered if my attention would stray. Thankfully it was the exact opposite that happened and I quickly became embroiled to the point I may as well have been another member sitting around the table. The characters are all very readable but in all honesty I found it the hardest to like the Mum Lizzy. Having said that, although she may not have been my favourite she sure made up for that in the humorous situations she put herself in (you will understand when you read the book, especially the ‘retreat’ she visits).

Each family member is going through some sort of trauma or drama and as each month unfolds you see the impact it has on the family and their take on it. The book is light-hearted, and very funny in parts, however still manages to maintain that family bond. The way this book was written was pretty unique and I haven’t read a book laid out like that with a month by month for each chapter. I have to say it really did work and made the book so much easier to read. I must say that although I haven’t read any other Jon Rance books, I will certainly be reading his other stuff as well as looking out for new releases too. This was a fantastic read for both men and women that I would definitely recommend.

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