“Our kitchen is small, the appliances dated. We don’t have a fancy six-burner stove or double wall oven like some of our wealthier neighbors. But as I remove the second pizza from the oven, the kitchen feels perfect: neither too big nor too small, neither too old nor too new. The kind of kitchen where my brother can enter carrying both my son and my daughter in his arms.”
–from Dinner with Dad
A beautiful, intelligent wife, two bright children, a gorgeous home in a nice Connecticut suburb, an ample income as a successful lawyer: by all accounts, Cameron Stracher is living the American dream. Problem is, thanks to a crazybusy work schedule, he’s never home to enjoy it. Most nights Cameron grabs dinner on the run, eating on the late train home long after his wife and kids have finished their meal.
So one day Cameron commits himself to a revolutionary experiment: For the next year, he’ll be home by six o’clock at least five days a week to sit down to a real family dinner–and he’ll even help cook that dinner himself. “Instead of stuffing a taco into my mouth in the back of the train, I will sauté chicken and peppers for my own fajitas. Instead of dining alone, I will dine with my family. Instead of Absent Dad, I will be Nourishing Dad.”
But as this daring adventure gets under way, it becomes clear that the road to culinary togetherness is no cakewalk. Six-year-old Lulu eats only plain pasta with salt and nine-year-old Simon clings immovably to hot dogs. What’s more, Cameron begins to feel that his normally sympathetic wife, Christine, is growing tired of having him underfoot at unexpected hours. Only the author’s faith in another American dream–family closeness at the dinner table–keeps him moving, and as he shops, chops, and cooks, he ponders the high percentage of Americans who’d rather work than be with their families, who’d rather take conference calls than meet the school bus.
Fired with love and humor, wit and heart, and peppered with engaging social and cultural history, Dinner with Dad is a four-star, five-course celebration of family life. Millions of overextended parents will relate to and relish Cameron’s journey as he discovers what truly matters most.
Advance praise for Dinner with Dad:
“Dinner with Dad is for every spouse who’s ever crashed on the rocks of the suburban dream and for every parent who’s had his heart broken by a child’s turned-up nose. Stracher writes with humor and honesty about the pitfalls and triumphs of trying to have your family and eat with them, too.”
–Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia
“Busy fathers everywhere will immediately identify with this book, and hopefully will heed its message. Well done, Cameron–someone needed to write this book. Now dads everywhere need to read it.”
–Mike Greenberg, author of Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot
“A warm-hearted, loving, and funny look at the way we live now. Can a dad get home for dinner, cook it, and live to tell the tale? Stracher’s story gives hope to the hungry and cheer to the overemployed.”
–Harlan Coben, author of The Woods
About the Author
Cameron Stracher is the author of Double Billing: A Young Lawyer’s Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, and the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair and a novel, The Laws of Return. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His essays and articles on family life (and other topics) have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Parents, The American Lawyer (where he is a contributing editor), and many other publications. During the day he teaches at New York Law School and practices media law, and at night he rushes home to his wife and two children in Westport, Connecticut. Visit his website at www.dinnerwithdad.com.