Friday, November 20, 2020

Book Review - The Christmas Table; Donna VanLiere


The Christmas Table; Donna VanLiere
St. Martin's Press - 2020 - Macmillan Audio

Even though I don't consider myself a religious person, every year I am drawn to Donna VanLiere's Christmas offering. Her "Hope series" offers hopeful stories about faith and believing in miracles; a few of her books have been made into Hallmark movies as well.  Each of the books can be read as a stand alone but, this years story does have a few characters from an earlier story. This year's story is told in (2) timelines (1972) and (2012).

In this story (1972) John Creighton is determined to build a holiday table for his wife Joan. The only problem is that he has only done small woodworking problems in the past. The family has (2) young children and Joan has been busy learning to cook, using recipes passed down from her own mother.  Joan has also found out she has breast cancer which has spread and she is undergoing treatments.

(2012) Lauren and Travis Mabrey are a young couple who are expecting their first child. Lauren grew up in foster homes and longs for a real home and family.  Lauren buys a used table and in the drawer of the table she finds recipes, each has a special message written on them.  Lauren is certain the person who originally owned the table did not intend to part with these recipes. She is determined to find the family and return the recipes.

The story alternates between these stories and made for a mostly uplifting read. I loved seeing how Lauren was able to form a beautiful family and home. She had a community of people willing to make sure that happen for her. At the end of the book and peppered throughout are the recipes, many of which seem worth trying.  I thought this was a nice holiday story for believers and non-believers alike.

I started this one on audio (very good) but, I also supplemented it with the eBook to see the recipes in print.

Rating - 4/5 stars


  1. My reading group The Bookie Babes is reading a holiday themed mystery in December: The Mistletoe Murder by P D James. I bet it does not include recipes but I have read others that do. Always a bonus!

    1. oh wow, I'd like to try a PD James Christmas mystery. Hope you enjoy it.

  2. I like these kinds of books but I don't read them often enough. That cover. So cozy.

  3. That sounds good and I like some recipes are included too!

  4. Oh this looks perfect for Christmas time!

  5. Gotta love a book with recipes. Especially one that also warms the heart. :)

  6. This sounds like a nice book to cosy down with this Christmas season; a book that warms.

  7. I really loved this one and am glad you enjoyed it too. It was just the perfect cozy read I was looking for and I'm looking forward to trying some of those recipes!


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