Wow, all I can say is, this story blew me away! Keep the tissues close by as you are reading THE GATHERING TABLE by Kathryn Springer. She will have your emotions all over the place. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop! The story is just that good. The twists and turns made it impossible to put down, as I had to know what was going to happen to Jessica after so much heartache! What an awesome story. All of Kathryn’s characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride. As you are reading, you will find yourself cheering for all of them, praying they can work out their problems and be happy once again. You will also wonder how much heartache a person can stand before they completely break down and shatter.
THE GATHERING TABLE is all about friendships and the past and the secrets that come out are heart tugging. It had me flipping through the pages like a woman on a mission. I had to know what was going to happen to Jessica and Nick and all the secondary characters. Jessica is shattered after she is unjustly fired from her dream job. How will she ever get over her self doubt? She decides the only way she can be happy is to move away and start all over. Maybe she can find the meaning of her life once again. Jess is hired as a live-in cook and housekeeper for Elaine Haviland who is in rehabilitation after suffering from a stroke. But Jessica doesn’t learn that until after she arrives. THE GATHERING TABLE is a heart tugging story that will hold you hostage until the very last page. Once you start reading, it will be very hard to put down!
THE GATHERING TABLE is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read in 2021 so far. I was instantly emotionally invested in all of the characters. As a revolving door of neighbors start showing up to learn more about Jessica and check on what she is doing, Jessica feeds them. I instantly felt the sense of community takes over and stole my heart. I wanted to be sitting at that table so badly! Be prepared to be very hungry as you are reading this wonderful story! My heart broke for Nick and Jessica and for all they were dealing with but Sienna shredded me. She had such a lonely and sad childhood and no one deserves to grow up like that. Kathryn Springer really knows how to write about family drama, heartbreak, and forgiveness. I can not wait to read more by this wonderful and heart tugging author. I have many of her older books to read and that brings me so much joy and happiness to know they are waiting for me!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Love Inspired through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“A feast of small-town charm and characters who feel like dear friends.” —Liz Johnson, bestselling author of The Red Door Inn
From USA TODAY bestselling author Kathryn Springer comes a tale of starting over when life takes an unexpected turn.
Winsome Lake, Wisconsin, is postcard-pretty, but for chef Jessica Keaton it’s also a last resort. Fired from her dream job, Jess is starting over as a live-in cook and housekeeper. When she arrives, she finds her new employer is in rehab after having a stroke, and Jess expects she’ll be all alone in Elaine Haviland’s quaint house. A chef with no one to cook for.
But instead, she encounters a constant stream of colorful visitors who draw her back into the world. As Jess contends with local teenagers, a group of scrappy women and a charming football coach, Elaine faces some battles of her own that extend past her physical challenges. For both of them, all the ingredients for a fulfilling life are within reach, if they’re willing to take a leap. And maybe Jess will start to see that it’s not just what’s on the table that matters—it’s the people gathered round it.
A must-read novel from Love Inspired: Stories to Uplift and Inspire.
Available in paperback at Walmart, or online from your favorite audio or ebook retailer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathryn Springer grew up in a small town where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child, she spent hours sitting at her mother’s typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of reading – which turned into a desire to tell stories of her own.
Kathryn has written over thirty books and lives and writes on a lake in northern Wisconsin. She enjoys long walks in the woods and the change of seasons (although sometimes she wishes the “change” between winter and spring didn’t last quite so long!) When Kathryn isn’t at the computer, she’s spending time with family and friends, paging through cooking magazines or sitting in the sun. A really, really good day includes all three!
Connect with Kathryn
Jess ended the call, closed her eyes and silently recited her barre instructor’s favorite mantra.
Take a breath. You’ve got this.
When she opened her eyes again, Jess found herself staring into the kind of formal dining room she’d thought would be extinct by now. But it was the f loorplan, not the outdated decor, that kick-started the diet-soda-energy-bar roller coaster again.
In Gwyneth Donovan’s house, a quarter mile of travertine separated the kitchen from the main living space. Jess’s employer entertained frequently but didn’t embrace the modern trend of friends chopping vegetables together over a predinner drink. Nor did she want to hear the clang of pots and pans on the evenings she spent alone.
Gwyneth had business associates, a few close friends and a well-paid staff dedicated to making her life easier. Jess was under no illusions about which group she fell into.
As Gwyneth’s personal chef, she’d been given a generous budget to work with, a vehicle to drive and a private suite overlooking the tennis court.
An arrangement that suited Jess just fine.
She’d seen the complaints from former classmates whose employers expected them to provide the food and the entertainment. Unlike the contestants vying for attention on those popular cooking shows, Jess didn’t want an audience in the kitchen. But here, sandwiched between Elaine Haviland’s dining and living rooms, she’d constantly be on display.
It suddenly occurred to Jess that the social worker hadn’t mentioned anything about the meals she was expected to prepare. Were there dietary restrictions for people who’d suffered a stroke?
Would she have to puree everything?
The thought propelled Jess to the nearest exit’s two doors, one she assumed led to the basement and the other, fresh air.
Jess chose door number two.
She pulled in a startled breath, the kind that would have earned a collective look of disapproval from the members of her barre class. The baby grand piano had been a surprise. This…this was a shock to the senses.
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