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: A Novel by Donna VanLiere
Series: Christmas Hope #10
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 6, 2020
Genres: 1 Flame- Sweet Hallmark-ish, Family Life, Women's Fiction
Buy on Amazon
I received a complimentary ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.
THE CHRISTMAS TABLE by Donna VanLiere
This is a story with all the feels!! From page one, The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere, book ten in her Christmas Hope series, grabbed me and held me hostage until I turned the last page, finishing the story, wanting more. This is a heartwarming and inspirational holiday story; you might need to keep those tissues nearby.
The story begins in June of 1972 when John Creighton decides to build a kitchen table for his wife Joan. Prior to this decision he had made picture frames, but was determined to have the table ready for Thanksgiving dinner. With this deadline, Joan becomes inspired to cook something delicious for that first meal; turning to the recipes her mother gave her when she married.
Fast forward 40 years to June 2012 when Lauren Mabrey discovers she is pregnant. With the help of her friends from Glory’s Place, everyone pitches in to help Lauren and Trey prepare their home for the baby. Visiting the local furniture builder, Lauren finds a table that he bought years ago at a garage sale and only recently refinished. Once the table arrives at her home, Lauren discovers a drawer under the table which contains a stack of recipe cards. Growing up in foster homes, Lauren never learned to cook and is fascinated as she reads through the card. Each card has a personal note, written by the mother for her daughter making Lauren wonder where they lived. They also make her feel connected to this mother and daughter and wants to make the mother proud.
Alternating between 1972 and 2012 as Joan battles breast cancer and Lauren learns to cook as she prepares for her baby’s arrival. Along the way, each is blessed by the people, friends and strangers, around them and in their community. As Christmas approaches, Lauren is hopeful to unlock the mystery behind table and bring happiness to the family who loss it.
Ms. VanLiere writes to the soul; the soul of her characters and the soul of her readers. This wonderful, heartwarming story was emotional, moving, tear inducing, filled with wonderful dialogue, and endearing characters that is must read. I highly recommend The Christmas Table to other readers.
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Reviewer: Eileen is a retired high school teacher who has loved reading all of her life and goes everywhere with a book. She enjoys reading Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Women’s Literature, YA, NA, Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Cozy Mysteries. She likes strong heroines, hot heroes and a story that draws her in, not letting go until the last page is turned. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, pup, and near her four adult children.