Title: The Christmas Table
Author: Donna VanLiere
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Page Count: 219
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
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?
The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere is the tenth full length book in the holiday romance Christmas Hope series. The Christmas Hope series is another that changes characters in each book along the way so all ten full length and the one novella in the series can be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so.
The story in The Christmas Table divides it’s time between two timelines changing the point of view between the main characters in each. In 1972 Joan’s husband, John, has promised his wife a new table before Thanksgiving but Joan’s illness has put him behind schedule. In 2012 Lauren Mabrey has discovered that she is expecting a baby and her friends begin to help her get read to welcome her little one. During this time Lauren purchases a new kitchen table and finds recipe cards inside that she is sure would be missed by their owner.
The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere is the first book of the Christmas Hope series that I have read myself and the story did read fine as a standalone. I loved the way the timelines were woven together in the end of the story and they did flow well all throughout with the characters being distinct from one another. I will say I did feel it could have gone a little deeper as it was a shorter novel leaving me wanting a bit more but overall it was a nice, sweet Christmas tale.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her much-loved Christmas Hope series includes The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing (both of which were adapted into movies for CBS Television), The Christmas Secret, The Christmas Journey, and The Christmas Hope, which was adapted into a film by Lifetime. She is also the author of The Angels of Morgan Hill and Finding Grace. VanLiere is the recipient of a Retailer’s Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, and a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year. She is a gifted speaker who makes regular appearances at conferences. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband and their children.
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