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The Christmas Table

The Christmas Table, October 2020
Christmas Hope #11
by Donna VanLiere

St. Martin's Griffin
384 pages
ISBN: 1250164672
EAN: 9781250164674
Kindle: B084M1ZGZZ
Trade Size / e-Book
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"Spend time around the table with family and friends."

Fresh Fiction Review

The Christmas Table
Donna VanLiere

Reviewed by Viki Ferrell
Posted October 5, 2020

Women's Fiction Contemporary | Holiday

In 1972 John Creighton is determined to make a beautiful wood table for his wife Joan for their Thanksgiving meal, while Joan is determined to learn to cook, using recipes her mother gave her when they married several years ago. These recipes also contain memories from her childhood as she reads through them, selecting foods to try. However, Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer which then spreads to her lungs. Will she live to see Thanksgiving and the table John is making?

Fast forward forty years to 2012, Lauren Mabrey is volunteering at Glory’s Place in Grandon. It’s a place where children can come after school for help with homework … a safe place for these children of moms who cannot afford after-school care. Lauren discovers that she and husband Travis are pregnant. Everyone at Glory’s Place wants to help her spruce up their home and get ready for the baby. She buys an old table from a local woodworker who refinished it. In a drawer in the table, she finds several old recipe cards. Lauren sets out to find the owner of these cards because of the personal notations written in them. With only one name mentioned in the cards … Bud, a local dairy farmer … will she find the person who should have these cards?

I’ve read several of Donna VanLiere’s Christmas stories and THE CHRISTMAS TABLE certainly does not disappoint. It is just as charming, heart-warming and uplifting as all her other Christmas tales. Ms. VanLiere returns us to Grandon and Glory’s Place, where we get reacquainted with several old friend (supporting characters). The storyline toggles back and forth from 1972 to 2012 several times, coming together at the end with an inspirational conclusion. This is a story about finding your way back to God, as well as finding your way in life, and having faith and hope to face each day. It’s about spending time around the table with family and friends. Warning: Eat before reading this book! These delicious recipes will make you hungry. Ms. VanLiere includes a few of them at the end of the book. Can’t wait to try some!

Learn more about The Christmas Table

SUMMARY

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?


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