by Isabel Vincent
Reviewed By Deborah Straw
Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship makes you hungry, makes you want to know this charming man, a gentleman nearing age l00 who keeps on actively living and working—in other words, finding purpose. The book makes you want to visit Manhattan and its butchers, markets, and delis. It makes you want to change into your casual clothes, get rid of less interesting yet necessary chores, and dive into the kitchen to create meals that make you and your loved ones happy and connected.
This is a charming, slender memoir, about more than a year’s worth of dinners and conversations between Edward, a widow, and Isabel, a New York Post reporter in middle age. The story, ostensibly about preparing and sharing food, is truly about a deep friendship and swapping stories that are important as life lessons. Edward has recently lost his wife, Paula, of 69 years of marriage, and Isabel goes through a difficult divorce and moves twice during the book’s timeframe. The prose is clear and straightforward, with short paragraphs and chapters, and the memoir is Edward—not Isabel—centered. Although a relatively quick read, it is full of substance.