Sunday Dinners, by Jon Rance

Reviewed for Chick Lit Central

I was truly touched by the sentiment throughout Sunday Dinners. Told from various family member’s perspectives, the primary focus is on Greg Wilde, the head of the household. He started the tradition of having Sunday dinners with his family, in order to stay connected and in touch with one another. We get to see inside the mind of each character as they grow and change, particularly the children.

Threaded within all of this, is the marriage between Greg and his wife, Lizzy. Their relationship has evolved and changed, just as much as the children’s lives have evolved and changed. Only, for Greg and Lizzy, they find themselves in a rough patch that they have a very hard time seeing their way out of. Even though they started out together, just the two of them, how can they find their way to one another, again? There is a lot of baggage and past hurts to work through, on both sides.

One of my favorite characters was the patriarch, Granny Joan. She has a lot of insight and wisdom, the solid ground to the chaos in the Wilde home. I saw a lot of my own grandmother in Joan’s persona, which made me instantly like her and eagerly await the funny comments and point blank honesty that would come out of her mouth.

Having read Rance’s This Thirtysomething Life, I knew I’d enjoy Sunday Dinners. That was a given. However, I didn’t know I’d appreciate it nearly as much as I did, or could relate to it as much as I had. Having a family of my own, there were many moments, glimpses into what could potentially be my own life just a few short years ahead. Watching my children grow up, move on, start their own lives. It was touching to see what happens to these wonderful characters, and how they cope (or at times, don’t cope) with all the changes and crazy roads life takes them on. I found myself misty-eyed, laughing, and identifying with the Wilde family, who really are no different from my own, not where it counts the most.

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