Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dinner With the Smileys

Dinner with the Smileys : One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime
by Sarah Smiley [Biography Smiley]

Sarah grew up a military brat, and is now married to navy officer and pilot Dustin. She is used to military deployments but this time the two older boys (aged 11 and 9) are at an age when their father's absence will have a bigger impact on them. Sarah decides to invite someone to dinner with them once a week so Dustin's empty chair is not quite so noticeable. She decided on dinner because that is often the most loneliest of times for a family facing a deployment. We watch the family deal with Dustin's absence, as well as meet each of the 52 dinner guests. Olympic athletes, state senators, the local Food Bank manager, a US Marshal, a local celebrity, the local Game & Parks ranger, their school teachers, and a wide variety of other people from all walks of life spent time with the family and demonstrated the important of spending time together. And the boys learn each person, regardless of occupation, is important and has a special perception on life. At times Sarah herself drove me crazy, but beyond that the dinner guests and their stories were fascinating. I especially enjoyed the final chapter, where Sarah invited back all the dinner guests with an invitation reading, "You had dinner with the Smileys, now it's time for dessert - with Dustin." I like a good epilogue and this provided an emotionally satisfying ending. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Charlotte's Reviewer Profile and other reviews ]

[ Dinner With the Smileys page on the official Sarah Smiley web site ]

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