Review: Dinner with the Schnabels by Toni Jordan


Title: Dinner With the Schnabels

Author: Toni Jordan

Published: 30th March 2022, Hachette Australia

Status: Read April courtesy Hachette Australia



My Thoughts:


“Dinner with the Schnabels. It could be the title of a horror movie.”

A contemporary domestic drama, Dinner With the Schnabels is a novel about love, marriage and family from Australian author Toni Jordan.

Simon Larsen is an architect, or rather he was. Unemployed since the pandemic bankrupted his business, he’s now a reluctant house husband of sorts in the cramped 2 bedroom flat he and his family of four were forced to move into after also losing their home. With his beloved wife, Tansy (née Schnabel), working as a real estate agent to support their family, Simon feels useless and so when she asks that he landscapes a friends back yard in preparation for her estranged father’s memorial in a week, Simon is determined to prove himself capable.

What follows is a comedy of errors of a sort as Simon is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to work on the project by a range of situations including an unexpected houseguest, a tardy tradie, an errant sock and an enterprising 8 year old. Yet at its heart this is a story about errant priorities and the quest for happiness.

Earnest and well-intentioned, if generally also a bit neurotic and hapless, Simon is a surprisingly endearing character. His perspective is both amusing, and thought-provoking, revealing a man bewildered by the unexpected route his life has taken, and floundering to find a new direction. As Simon attempts to navigate the gauntlet of everyday tribulations, his intimidating in-laws, particularly fractious matriarch Gloria, and his own emotional inertia, he’s challenged by some uncomfortable and surprising insights.

Witty, perceptive and moving, Dinner With the Schnabels is a well-written, entertaining read.


Available from Hachette Australia

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. WendyW
    Apr 18, 2022 @ 14:37:29

    This sounds so sweet! I love books where someone has to overcome a bad situation.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Helen Murdoch
    Apr 19, 2022 @ 01:50:02

    Interesting that pandemic-related novels are now coming to the surface. This sounds kind of fun.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Apr 19, 2022 @ 21:28:50

    I agree with Helen above —t he pandemic novels are becoming more and more prominent. Usually I see romances, so this is definitely going on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Trackback: Its Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  5. Marg
    Apr 25, 2022 @ 20:36:34

    I consider myself a Toni Jordan fan even though I think I have only actually read one of her books.

    Liked by 1 person


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