Friday, January 22, 2021

✱✱Book Review✱✱ The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Table

Christmas Hope Book 11

by Donna VanLiere 

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?

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Christmas Table was an emotional read for me and I had to set it aside a few times before finally finishing it. Not because it isn't good, it certainly is, but because of some emotional things in my own life that paralleled this story a bit. Now, here's where I'll say that I would've found it emotional with or without my own life events, but sometimes things are just harder and even fiction can ring truer than we expect. That said, once I was able to sit down and just get involved with these characters, this story brought me more peace than I would've thought possible. It's wonderfully written, and the message comes through loud and clear. It's a story of family, prayer, faith, healing, and hope, and yes, it does happen around the holiday, but the message is much needed and appreciated by this reader any time of year. This is my first read by this author and in this series. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that this one is a standalone, and I'll add that neither the author nor the series will be strangers any longer. 

❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press

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