Read IN BED: Dinner with Edward
Words by Suyin Cavanagh
Part memoir - part biography, Dinner with Edward is written by investigative reporter and Canadian author Isabel Vincent, depicting an unexpected and beguiling friendship with her friend’s father and recent widower, 93 year-old Edward.
Set in Manhattan, largely in Edward’s apartment, what begins as a kindly offer of benevolence blossoms into a long standing friendship. The pairing provides a surprising pillar of expansion, comfort from the outside world and it’s challenges … bringing new forms of joy to their lives during a phase where both Isabel and Edward are experiencing difficult transitions.
Over a series of exquisite weekly dinners hosted by Edward, we are treated to Isabel’s eloquent restrained writing. The specifics of each menu fills our senses with delights of sumptuousness. Every morsel, entrée, main and dessert is prepared with utmost deliberation, often imbued with years of refinement by Edward, brimming with flavour, prepared and cooked with precision and assembled for our pleasure. These glorious feasts just for two are treated as grand occasions and involve a preferred drink to be imbibed as the evening begins. Aperitif hour acts as a prelude and enhances the anticipation of the feast to come. Isabel makes us privy to Edward’s version of a classic Martini, where chilled glasses whisked from the freezer with a flourish is all part of the theatre … and more importantly a prerequisite never to be forgotten.
While food is the premise, so much more than shared dinners grows between Isabel and Edward. Edward’s wisdom, generosity and appreciation of slowing down influences Isabel and filters into the crevices of her life … a catalyst for her reacquainting with old pastimes, and making overdue and bold changes. Edward is a study in ‘the art of noticing’ and holds up the mirror to Isabel with a steady hand, infused with his touch of sweetness.
A delightful book which marries an appreciation for food, while magnifying the wonder of enduring and unexpected friendships, which may begin at any stage of life.
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