Friday, April 7, 2017

The Dinner Party by Brenda Janowitz

Sylvia Gold epitomizes the stereotypical overbearing Jewish mother. She clearly wants what's best for her three children, even if it often means meddling in their lives. So when she finds out that her youngest daughter is dating a Rothschild, only one of the wealthiest banking families in all of New York City, Sylvia can't help but throw a Seder, or the traditional meal served at the start of Passover, in the hopes of making a good impression.

After inviting the whole family, including her less than favorite soon to be son-in-law and his overly dramatic mother Italian mother and Sylvia's son casually drops by from Sri Lanka, with his black girlfriend, the peaceful traditions of the Seder have gone out the window. Chaos, jealousy, and family secrets become the topic of discussion for both the Golds and the Rothschilds. Can both of the families look past their differences and repair the things that divide them?

Brenda Janowitz's The Dinner Party resonates with any reader who has had to endure family functions where things often go awry, yet it's nearly impossible to laugh at the family you're a part of.