The Blurb (from Goodreads):
Things haven’t gone well for Simon Larsen lately. He adores his wife, Tansy, and his children, but since his business failed and he lost the family home, he can’t seem to get off the couch. Simon is permanently unemployed and permanently unshaven.
His larger-than-life in-laws, the Schnabels – Tansy’s mother, sister and brother – won’t get off his case.
To keep everyone happy, Simon needs to do one little job: he has a week to landscape a friend’s backyard for an important Schnabel family event.
But as the week progresses, Simon is derailed by the arrival of an unexpected house guest. Then he discovers Tansy is harbouring a secret. As his world spins out of control, who can Simon really count on when the chips are down?
Toni Jordan’s new book is just delightful! ‘Dinner with the Schnabels’ is a modern comedy of manners that pokes affectionate fun at many aspects of contemporary Australian society – without once losing Toni’s trademark warmth, sensitivity & wit. I’ve loved all of her books, but this one had me laughing out loud. It tells the story of Simon Larsen, a middle-aged man whose business went under during the pandemic and who is struggling to recover. He loves his family, but he feels as if he has failed them. His misery is compounded by his wife’s family, the Schnabels, who are all loud, confident, and sure of themselves. Simon feels sure they think him a failure too. To try and keep them off his back, Simon agrees to take on the landscaping of a friend’s garden ahead of a memorial service for his wife’s father. But muddles and misunderstandings abound, and it looks as if Simon is going to fail at this too.
Honestly, this book is just a joy. It’s so clever, so funny, and so true. I think it’d make a brilliant film or TV series. I’m pressing it into the hands of everyone I know. Read it!