Around the Island

Isabel Vincent’s ‘Dinner with Edward’

COURTESY PHOTO sabel Vincent’s book ‘Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship.’
COURTESY PHOTO Isabel Vincent’s book ‘Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship.’

Journalist Isabel Vincent’s well-received 2016 memoir, “Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship,” is being made into a movie starring British actor David Suchet, best known for playing Hercule Poirot for more than two decades. Suchet will play Edward, the 93-year-old widower whom Isabel met shortly after Edward’s wife of 69 years had died.

When the two became friends, Edward was lonely, despondent and said more than once that he had no interest in living any longer. Meanwhile, Isabel was going through her own rough time while negotiating a contentious divorce.

The friendship began when Edward invited Isabel to join him for a home-cooked meal which led them to share weekly dinners for about five years. Isabel has said that Edward prepared every meal “sumptuously,” and that “he taught himself to cook at age 72 as a gesture of love to his wife who had cooked for him all the years before.”

Throughout the book, readers get a taste of Edward’s culinary talents in every chapter as each begins with the complete menu of an evening’s dinner.

Isabel, who was in her mid 40s when she first met Edward, writes lovingly and sometimes achingly about the cross-generational story that unfolded over the exquisite meals they shared every week. Without realizing it, she told Kirkus Reviews, “He was teaching me the art of patience, the luxury of slowing down.” It was a relationship that changed both their lives much for the better.

Isabel Vincent is an award-winning foreign correspondent. She reported from all over the world before moving to New York in 2009 to be an investigative reporter for The New York Post. For those who have wanted to know what it’s like to work for a loud and brassy New York City tabloid like The Post, they’ll enjoy page 28 where Isabel describes, in capital letters, a stakeout in suburban New Jersey designed to catch the mistress of a senator.

Isabel has written five non-fiction books, each of which illustrates her deep investigative skills, but none are as personal and heartwarming as “Dinner with Edward.”

Don’t miss this fascinating author’s appearance at the Shelter Island Library on Friday, June 15 at 7 p.m. where she will talk about her enchanting memoir at Friday Night Dialogues. The program is free of charge and donations are gratefully accepted.

Up next: Join us to hear Edward Furey of the Cradle of Aviation Museum present “Long Island and the Rise of American Aviation and Air Power” on Friday, July 6 at 7p.m.