Review: Oakdale Dinner Club by Kim Moritsugu

The Oakdale Dinner Club
Kim Moritsugu
Dundurn Group (May 5th 2014)
Pages 280
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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After Mary Ann’s husband cheats on her, the suburban mom decides to have her own affair. She starts up a neighbourhood dinner club as a cover and invites three men she has earmarked as potential lovers. Along for the ride is her best friend, Alice, who has recently returned with her young daughter to Oakdale, the cozy bedroom community where the two women grew up and briefly shared a telepathic past.
Over good food and wine, new friendships develop, new dreams simmer, Mary Ann pursues her affair candidates, and Alice opens her heart and mind to ways out of her single-working-mother social rut. The stars align on the night the core dinner club members consume an aphrodisiac, go to a local dive bar, hit the dance floor, and rock their worlds. 
Appetizing fare for readers who like their fiction sharp and witty with a strong dash of spice, “The Oakdale Dinner Club” is a suburban comedy of manners that proves it s never too late to start over.

I was disappointed with the book. I found it humorous at times, other times not so much. Mary Ann was in need of a self esteem boost after she learned of her husband’s affair. She decides to have an affair of her own and sets out to find a victim. She createsThe Oakdale Dinner Club as a way to flirt with potential flings. Alice her best friend was hilarious, the story should have centered around her, but Mary Ann was the focal point.

The transitions from character to character were not smooth leading to confusion for the reader as to who was involved in the next scene. The humor was flat at times, other times I did laugh out loud – rare but it did occur.

Mary Ann was difficult to warm up to. I felt a neutral connection to her. There were several times her behavior was so immature given her age it was ridiculous. I felt for her unhappy marital circumstances I just wish she was portrayed with a bit more strength. She came across as too desperate and in need of validation from a man which for me is a complete turn off. There was a million ways the narrative could have gone, unfortunately Moritsugu selected a different path which leads the reader deciding its success or failure.

I enjoyed the varied personalities and overall variety of the supporting characters, definitely helped the otherwise vanilla narrative. Glimpsing other married couples and their thoughts of each other was funny.

Humor varies so you might find this book an absolute hoot, also keep in mind the story is about a married woman (albeit very unhappily married woman) seeking an affair. Sensitive topic for some of you.

If your looking for a beach type read with humor and your expectations are low try this on for size, it might fit.

2 stars


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