By Donna VanLiere
** Publication Date 6 October 2020 **
Christmas books are my thing. My husband won’t watch Hallmark movies, so I immerse myself in sappy, happy books themed around love and happiness at Christmas time. Here is another to add to the list.
In 1972, Joan is living in a small town with her husband John and two small children. Her mother had written her a bunch of her favorite recipes when she married, but she’s never taken the time to learn to cook. With John making her a kitchen table for Thanksgiving, now is as good a time as any. John works hard in the workshop and Joan works hard in the kitchen.
It’s 2012. Lauren is a former foster kid who has settled in a small town, marrying a local boy and volunteering for an after school care center. One of the things Lauren needs for her new home is a kitchen table. The local craftsman makes beautiful tables, but they are well out of her price range. However, Larry does have a table that is perfect for Lauren. It’s an older table that has been refinished. When Lauren gets it home, she discovers a hidden drawer full of handwritten recipes. Being a foster kid, Lauren never really learned to cook, and now is a good time to start. The recipes will be an inspiration.
What’s a beautiful part of this story is how the author managed to weave together two completely different families and time periods into one cohesive novel. Many times I will reject novels that time travel, but this one has been done without any confusion. It’s very easy to follow both Joan’s and Lauren’s stories. I really enjoyed this one. Pop some popcorn, make some mulled cider, grab a blanket and curl up with this novel by the fireplace.