Saturday, September 25, 2021

Review: "The Gathering Table" by Kathryn Springer

I have really enjoyed some of Kathryn Springer's novels over the years, so when the opportunity to review her new Love Inspired title came up, I didn't hesitate!

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.

What an enjoyable story! While it took me a couple chapters to get into the book, I quickly became so intrigued by Jess and Elaine's story.

Jess is a woman who never fit in, who constantly tried to compensate for being "that girl," the one with absentee parents and an unstable home life. When she takes a job as a housekeeper/cook for Elaine, she definitely gets more than she bargained for - an absent employer, neighbors who pop in at all hours, a potential love interest, and two special teenagers who work their way into her heart. As she settles in, she begins to experience connection and acceptance like she's never known before. 

Ultimately, this book is about found family - for both Jess and Elaine. I loved the small-town feel of this novel, and all the characters were so fun to get to know. There's just a hint of romance, and I thought the book's ending was absolutely brilliant. This is a lovely women's fiction novel with a clear (and unforced) Christian thread, and it makes for a wonderful reading experience. 4 stars.

Buy the book (Available in paperback at Walmart, or online from your favorite audio or ebook retailer): Love Inspired | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Follow the tour.
Read my reviews of Springer's The Dandelion Field (5 stars), The Hearts We Mend (5 stars), A September Bride (4 stars), and Love on a Deadline (5 stars).

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: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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