December Book Club Pick — The Christmas Table

1 Dec

Every December my book club chooses a Christmas novella to discuss. This year we are reading The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere. VanLiere is a new author for most of the members, but listening to her Christmas audiobooks is a yearly tradition for me. I have already read this book and have some advice for you — keep some tissues handy! See all the details below.


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?

Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her much-loved Christmas Hope series includes THE CHRISTMAS SHOES and THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING, both of which were adapted into movies for CBS Television, THE CHRISTMAS SECRET, THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY and THE CHRISTMAS HOPE, which was adapted into a film by Lifetime. She is also the author of THE ANGELS OF MORGAN HILL and FINDING GRACE. VanLiere is the recipient of a Retailer’s Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, and a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year. She is a gifted speaker speaks regularly at conferences. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband and their children.


2 Responses to “December Book Club Pick — The Christmas Table”

  1. Carla December 1, 2020 at 7:57 am #

    Great choice. I am hoping to read this one this week.

    • rbclibrary December 1, 2020 at 9:34 am #


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