The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere

Every once in a while, I read a book which just happens to be the most perfect read for what’s happening in my life at that time. The Christmas Table is story of love, family and community with a message of keeping faith during some of our darkest hours. It is just what I needed.

This book is the tenth in a series but can be read easily as a standalone. It is told in two time frames - 1972 and 2012 and surrounds the importance of a family table originally built by John Creighton for his wife Joan. John has never really built anything, but promises to build Joan a table for their young family in time for Thanksgiving. Inspired by John’s creativity, Joan decides to use the recipe cards her mother has given her and learns to cook and bake, with her children alongside her making memories. Her progress slows when she begins a courageous battle, fighting breast cancer.

The second story is of Lauren and her husband Travis who are expecting a child of their own. Lauren purchases a refinished table second hand and discovers recipe cards within its drawer. Feeling a need to learn to cook, she uses the recipe cards to teach herself and enjoys her success in creating delicious meals. She feels the love and stories behind each recipe, and determines the need to return the recipe cards to their rightful owner. The challenge of finding the owner is one that proves to be quite difficult.

I really enjoyed this story. I loved how the two stories were intertwined as well as the sense of community felt by reading the book. I was touched by the support that the men, in particular, gave each other What stood out to me the most, however, was the spiritual message that was spoken by several of the characters in this book which helped maintain their focus during difficult times. What more can I say? This is an absolutely beautiful and moving story and one that I am sure to remember for years to come.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here. The Christmas Table publishes October 6.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5,



  1. This isn't a story that I would normally read, however I really like the concept of two different stories which intertwine eachother!

  2. Oh I adore the sound of this! I love stories that have the connection between two times and lives and this sounds like such a heartfelt and charming read. Delightful review - thank you!

  3. Great review! Thank you for sharing! This sounds like a lovely book and I love the sound of the stories!

  4. This sounds like such an adorable read! While I generally enjoy action, thrillers and crime style books, leading into the holiday season I find myself craving more touching options like this. It's something about that whole holiday vibe that triggers a change for me.

    1. There is definitely something cozy about a Christmas themed book. Thanks for your comment.

  5. This sounds such a cosy and heart-warming read! It's got such a Christmas-y feel to it - thanks for sharing x

    Sophie |

  6. I love stories with two time frames and this one sounds like the perfect feel good read for a cosy night in on the run up to Christmas. I don't know what's going on with you atm, but I'm very glad this book helped you in its way.