Donna VanLiere comes to the blog with an uplifting story of hope, family and the power of the holiday season with
The Christmas Table
Told in two different timelines, we have John and Joan and their little family in 1972. John has decided that the family will have a special, handmade table to celebrate the holidays – and he has found the perfect piece of wood, and plenty of manuals to start the task. Meanwhile Joan is using her mother’s treasured recipes to create meals for her family, sharing moments with her young daughter and son, until a diagnosis of breast cancer throws their entire dynamic into chaos.
Then we have newlywed Lauren and her husband Tyker in 2002. Lauren was raised in foster care, and isn’t confident, but her job and friends at Glory’s Place have given her that sense of caring and family she always craved. When she discovers she is pregnant, the entire group of women who work at Glory’s start to help her with everything – from advice to decorating. Particularly important is a table that they found (and bargained for) to fit in Lauren’s home. Discovering a secret drawer with recipes, specially noted with notes of family life and other ephemera, Lauren is intrigued and interested in finding the owners of the recipes, as well as using them to learn to cook.
What follows is Lauren’s search for the owners of the recipes, plenty of community support for Lauren, and several moments of shared faith and belief for Joan and John as they navigate Joan’s ever-aggressive cancer. We learn the history of the table and the family life that surrounded it, find Lauren growing in confidence and ability with the use of the recipes, and a lovely series of moments as her search brings her into contact with more residents and new friends in town. A lovely burst of hope and possibility, all made possible with the power of faith, belief and lots of laughter.
Title: The Christmas Table
Author: Donna VanLiere
Series: Christmas Hope #10
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Dual Timeline, Family Saga, Food / Recipes, Friendship, Holiday Themed, Small Town
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: 6 October, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 47 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
From Donna VanLiere, the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays, The Christmas Table.
In June 1972, John Creighton determines to build his wife Joan a kitchen table. His largest project to date had been picture frames but he promises to have the table ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Inspired to put something delicious on the table, Joan turns to her mother's recipes she had given to Joan when she and John married.
In June 2012, Lauren Mabrey discovers she's pregnant. Gloria, Miriam, and the rest of her friends at Glory's Place begin to pitch in, helping Lauren prepare their home for the baby. On a visit to the local furniture builder, Lauren finds a table that he bought at a garage sale but has recently refinished. Once home, a drawer is discovered under the table which contains a stack of recipe cards. Growing up in one foster home after another, Lauren never learned to cook and is fascinated as she reads through the cards. Personal notes have been written on each one from the mother to her daughter and time and again Lauren wonders where they lived, when they lived, and in a strange way, she feels connected to this mother and her daughter and wants to make the mother proud.
The story continues to from 1972 to 2012 as Joan battles breast cancer and Lauren learns to cook, preparing for the baby's arrival. As Christmas nears, can Lauren unlock the mystery of the table, and find the peace she's always longed for?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.