This is the heartwarming story of 52 dinners with the Smiley family while their father has been deployed, featuring special guest appearances by everyone from R2-D2 and the Red Sox to the local police chief and town minister.
The week before Christmas 2011, Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Dustin Smiley left for a yearlong military deployment. A week later, his son, Ford, 11, invited Sen. Susan Collins to fill his dad's chair at dinner. On January 3, 2012, Sen. Collins came to dinner...and brought brownies.
So begins Dinner with the Smileys, nationally syndicated columnist Sarah Smiley's 52-week commitment to fill her husband's place at the family dinner table with interesting people (from school teachers to Olympians to professional athletes to famous authors and politicians) and unique role models for her three sons, even as she knows Dustin's seat cannot truly be "filled" until he is home again for the 53rd dinner.
Sarah Smiley--writer, mom, military wife, and blogger for the U.S. Navy--tells a one-of-a-kind story about family, friends, community, and the American lifestyle, by introducing us to her family and their ever growing roster of dinner guests. Full of humor and heart, this book will remind readers how nice it is to sit down and connect over the family dinner table. Indeed, for anyone living alone or in a single-parent household, it often can be the most important way to gain a sense of community in this increasingly individualized society.
In a time when popular culture leads us to believe that the "family dinner table" is dead, Dinner with the Smileys shows people that time spent with family, friends and neighbors is still very much part of the American lifestyle.