Dacres recounts with self-deprecating, often brutal honesty her journey to understand and connect with her true self. Like a play, Dinner for One is structured with a prologue and successive acts, ending with Dacres' gradual and passionate awakening to the very French art of cultivating pleasure, self-worth and an appreciation for well-conceived, delicious food ... Often humorous and uplifting, Dacres' writing is also a bit uneven in parts, sometimes due to superfluous details or unnecessary dialogue. But her true writer's talent shines when she relates her forays into the world of French cookery. Overall, Dinner for One is hopeful, salubrious and, like a meal served with love, a balm for the spirit.
Dacres writes honestly about identity and the pressures we put on ourselves. Sharing the ways she creates a home in Paris that fits who she truly is, one meal at a time, her work speaks directly to readers.
... convivial if uneven ... a witty, though occasionally tedious, recollection ... Dacres is at her best when indulging readers in her culinary experiences—particularly the cathartic act of cooking solo that, post-divorce, allows her to heal ... Despite the book’s emphasis on food, though, the recipes at the end feel shoehorned in (among the many dishes mystifyingly clustered together are a leek risotto and raspberry clafoutis). Still, those craving a hopeful comeback story will find much to savor.