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 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?
Titles in the Christmas Hope series include – The Christmas Shoes – The Christmas Blessing – The Christmas Hope – The Christmas Promise – The Christmas Secret – The Christmas Journey – The Christmas Note – The Christmas Light – The Christmas Town – The Christmas Star – The Christmas Table –
Title: The Christmas Table
Series: Christmas Hope #11
Author: Donna VanLiere
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Published: October 6, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 4.5 stars
What an emotional journey The Christmas Table turned out to be for me.
Told in two different timeframes, by two different women facing far different lives – still, the connections they will share through the recipes discovered in the drawer of a refurbished kitchen table will pierce your heart one moment and bring a smile the very next.
Since the Cover Description Blurb already tells you much of this story I don’t really want to go into any more details. I’m simply going to say that although I’ve read and enjoyed other books in the Christmas Hope series, this one will stay with me long, long after I closed that final page. Joan and Lauren became very alive, flesh women to me as I got lost in their story. They and their emotions, their difficulties, and their joys mattered – and I enjoyed every moment spent with them. Vague? Yes, but you should discover the details first-hand.
I enjoyed The Christmas Table immensely and will be re-reading it again in my yearly Christmas stories collection re-read marathon.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in a variety of formats including your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.