To those of you who haven’t been over here before, welcome to Wordy Witterings, my bookish blog. Today it’s my turn to host the blog tour for ‘Dinner Party’, a debut novel by Sarah Gilmartin.
To mark the anniversary of a death in the family, Kate meticulously plans a dinner party – front he fancy table setting to the perfect baked alaska waiting in the freezer. But by the end of the night, old tensions have flared, the guests are gone, and Kate is spinning out of control.
Set between the 1990s and the present day, from Carlow to Dublin, the family farmhouse to Trinity College, Dinner Party is a beautifully observed, dark and twisty novel that thrillingly unravels into family secrets and tragedy.
Haunting and unforgettable, it explores how the past informs the present, the inevitability of childhood damage resurfacing in later life – and yet how, despite everything, we can’t help returning home.
As I’m the last one of the last blogs on this tour, rather than reviewing the novel, I thought that I’d do something different and highlight some of the issues that ‘Dinner Party’ explores. So here we go…
5 things that this novel shows us:
1. Families are difficult. It’s difficult being a twin, it’s difficult being a sibling, and it’s difficult being a parent. All of Kate’s family struggle in one way or another – sometimes this is acknowledged, sometimes not.
2. You can’t bury the past. Time may be a great healer, but it can’t heal on its own. Talking helps, therapy helps, and sometimes things eventually get better.
3. Mothers don’t always have a positive influence. This family are ruled almost entirely by their mother and her moods. The moods are generally not good ones.
4. Survivor guilt is real. This book explores Kate’s inability to not only deal with her sister’s death but also her hatred of herself for surviving her twin.
5. Mental illness needs to be discussed. And discussed again, and again and again, until it becomes as normal as discussing having a broken arm. Silence destroys and silence kills.
If you think that ‘Dinner Party’ might be your next read, you can buy your own copy here.
Please take the time to visit the other fabulous bookish blogs on this tour.