Monday, April 18, 2016

Spotlight and Giveaway: The Dinner Party

In a few days, Jewish families everywhere will be sitting around their dining room tables reciting blessings and telling a well known story from long ago while drinking four glasses of wine (or grape juice) and eating matzah. The Passover Seder is the setting for Brenda Janowitz's latest novel, The Dinner Party. Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have TWO copies for some lucky US readers! 

This Passover Seder is not just any Passover Seder. Yes, there will be a quick service and then a festive meal afterwards, but this night is different from all other nights. This will be the night the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City.

The Rothschilds are the stuff of legends. They control banks, own vineyards in Napa, diamond mines in Africa, and even an organic farm somewhere in the Midwest that produces the most popular Romaine lettuce consumed in this country. And now, Sylvia Gold's daughter is dating one of them.

When Sylvia finds out that her youngest of three is going to bring her new boyfriend to the Seder, she's giddy. When she finds out that his parents are coming, too, she darn near faints. Making a good impression is all she thinks about. Well, almost. She still has to consider her other daughter, Sarah, who'll be coming with her less than appropriate beau and his overly dramatic Italian mother. But the drama won't stop there. Because despite the food and the wine, despite the new linen and the fresh flowers, the holidays are about family. Long forgotten memories come to the surface. Old grievances play out. And Sylvia Gold has to learn how to let her family go.

Brenda's Seder table

"THE DINNER PARTY is everything a reader wants in a novel: guests with a knack for inspired conversation and family drama swirling both above and below the table. A truly entertaining read!" - Elin Hilderbrand, author of THE RUMOR

You think your family is chock full of quirky personalities? Pull up a chair for a holiday meal with the Golds of Greenwich! The vibe is hilarious with a side of heartfelt (but never corny); and the guests are as relatable as they are occasionally appalling. Brenda Janowitz works the room with sensitivity and humor. Thanks to her consummate hostessing, The Dinner Party is a satisfying, delicious meal that sticks with you long after it’s over. – Elisabeth Egan, author of A WINDOW OPENS

“In her funny and smart novel, THE DINNER PARTY, Brenda Janowitz tells a story of transformation and hilarity. With an acute eye for complicated family dynamics, Janowitz takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters at a holiday dinner. In great bursts of laughter and solemnity, we meet and love family members who are all trying to find their way both in the world and also in their family. As with any good dinner party, it’s a pleasure spending time at Janowitz’s table.” – Patti Callahan Henry, author of THE IDEA OF LOVE

“Don’t miss a seat at this table! Brenda Janowitz’s THE DINNER PARTY charms and delights with a story of the time-honored struggles between parents and grown children, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters as unconditional love bumps up against unmet expectations. Laugh-out-loud funny with the biggest heart, you will fall in love with this family.” - Jamie Brenner, author of THE WEDDING SISTERS

Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Lonely Hearts Club and Recipe for a Happy Life. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, the New York Post, Publisher’s Weekly, PopSugar,, Hello Giggles, Writer’s Digest Magazine,, and xojane.

Brenda attended Cornell University and Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. Upon graduation from Hofstra, worked for the law firm Kaye Scholer, LLP, and did a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

You can find Brenda at her website, Facebook, and Twitter. Also check out Melissa A's interview with her at The Jewish Food Experience.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

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US only. Giveaway ends April 25th at midnight EST.


Janine said...

Brenda love bagels and blintzes. I think we could be secret sisters. :)

Kelly Rodriguez said...

I thought it was funny that Brenda still remembers dreading having to do the Four Questions when she was younger. And then being so thankful when her younger brother started going to Hebrew school so that he was able to take over those duties. I think we all have those dreaded stories from childhood from the times were forced to sit through "torturous" family traditions/holidays. It always felt like we were sitting there for a lifetime!! :)

Unknown said...

Chocolate covered Matzoh balls??????

Tatum Rangel said...

Brenda loves brisket and Matzah balls soup. I still need to look up brisket, since I've heard of the dish a few times.

traveler said...

Brenda enjoys Matzah Ball soup and brisket as well as bagels. who wouldn't. I love all of those delacacies.

Bonnie K. said...

I didn't know about the setting of the table with masks and finger puppets of the plagues as part of the celebration of Passover.
bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

rhonda said...

I love the ritual of the Seder brisket is our family favorite.

Unknown said...

I love the finger puppets! I'm not Jewish, but attended Seder dinner with my best friend's family. It was a long time ago, but I remember how long it was! Great way to keep kids part of the evening!

rubynreba said...

She always wants to make sure the elderly are not alone on holidays.

Rita Wray said...

Brenda could eat brisket and Matzah ball soup year-round.

Grandma Cootie said...

I guess I was kind of surprised to see there was such a thing as a "kid-friendly seder." The picture of the prep was fun too.

Patricia said...

Brenda is interested in exploring letting go of the past through her writing. (I hope she develops the Yom Kippur story idea --- not to mention the bagel one.)

stevenjared0853 said...

Thanks a lot for sharing these reviews of this family dinner party. Glad that you had such a wonderful time with them. I attended a grand wedding with my family last weekend. It was at one of iconic Chicago wedding venues and we truly enjoyed a lot.