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?



My Review:  Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this title. It’s the first time reading Donna VanLiere’s work, which reminds me of Debbie Macomber’s stories.
The Christmas Table is a sweet, precious, endearing story about two families and their connection to a handmade table and the hidden recipes.
In 1972, John Creighton found a piece of black walnut and was determined to turn that slab into a beautiful table for his wife, Joan, for Thanksgiving. Joan decides that she wants to learn to cook like her momma, Alice, and uses her recipes to start her lessons. This young family of four has so many trials and tribulations through their young lives you wonder how they are going to make it.
In 2012, Lauren Mabrey, who was recently wedded to Travis, found out they are expecting their first child. In preparing for the baby’s arrival, Lauren’s friends help her out by decorating their starter home. Lauren needs a kitchen table and finds one at Larry’s place, which they purchase only to find handwritten recipes inside the little draw. Lauren learns how to cook using these recipes and reads all the individual notes set aside each one, knowing that she needs to return them to their rightful owner. The mystery of the owner of the recipes begins.
We learn everyone going through life, and their journeys are all unique. However, each life intertwines with the other. So remember to be kind to others since we never know what they may be going through.

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