Title: The Gathering Table
Author(s): Kathryn Springer
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Love Inspired Trade
“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.
Elaine Haviland hadn’t mentioned anything about a stroke when she’d interviewed Jess over the phone the week before. All she’d said was that she needed some temporary live-in help to cook meals and do some light housekeeping.
Jess could handle both, of course, but the word temporary had sealed the deal.
“Elaine was looking so forward to coming home today,” the fairy godmother murmured.
And Jess had been looking forward to having one.
Now what was she supposed to do?
“Call Sunrise Rehab,” Nita, warrior princess, commanded, almost as if she’d read Jess’s mind. “Ask for Vanessa Richards. If Elaine isn’t able to speak again, she’ll be your go-between.”
Isn’t able to speak. Again?
A dozen thoughts collided in Jess’s head but she refused to let them throw her off balance. Stay focused. That was what Jess’s instructor at culinary school had taught her. The advice had served Jess well in life and in Gwyneth Donovan’s kitchen.
“Thanks.” Jess shaped a polite smile. She’d have to find a place to fire up her laptop and start checking the help wanted ads again. “Is there a coffee shop in town?”
The woman wearing the bulldog shirt snorted, which Jess took as a no.
“Peg.” The fairy godmother pursed her lips. And then she stepped right into Jess’s personal space. Pressed a key into her hand. “You don’t need a coffee shop. I’ve known Elaine for twenty-five years. She wouldn’t want you standing on the curb while you’re waiting to get things straightened out.”
Jess doubted there was anything to straighten out. If Elaine Haviland wasn’t coming home, she didn’t need Jess’s help.
“Merri is right.” Nita pointed to the house. “Go inside. Make the call.”
The other women hummed in agreement, making it three against one.
At the moment the only thing Jess found remotely tempting about the suggestion was the possibility they’d leave her alone if she agreed.
“Thanks.” Jess stuck to the safest response.
Nita consulted her watch. “I have to go.” The abrupt announcement set her friends in motion.
Merri, an appropriate name for the fairy godmother, Jess thought, cast a smile over her shoulder. “Everything will work out…Jessica. You’ll see.”
The Gathering Table is a wholesome small-town romance. Kathryn Springer gives readers a good look at the impact a community can have when you need it the most.
Jess is a chef who was just fired from her dream job. This leads her to an opportunity with a new job in the small town of Winsome Lake. She is going to work for a woman who is in rehab after having a stroke. This isn’t exactly what Jess had in mind but it may be exactly what she needs.
This is a heartfelt story about faith, hope, and love. It’s great to see the community come together and show Jess what family truly means.
I give The Gathering Table 4 stars. I think the small town is the heart and soul of the book. They really bring it all together. It is also great to see the characters development and see the positive that comes. Touching story with heart and faith!
About the Author:
Kathryn Springer, winner of the 2009 ACFW Carol Award (Family Treasures), grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child, she spent many hours sitting at her mother’s typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books – which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. After a number of busy years, when she married her college sweetheart and became a stay-at-home mom, Kathryn rediscovered her love for writing. An unexpected snow day from school became the inspiration for a short story, which she submitted to Brio magazine. She went on to publish over a dozen more short stories for Brio, but it wasn’t until her youngest child started school that she decided to pursue her dream to write a novel. In August 2004, her Love Inspired® debut novel, Tested by Fire, was published.
Fast forward to today and Kathryn has written over thirty novels. She lives on a lake in northern Wisconsin and 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 is not 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! If you want to know more, follow her blog Table Grace…thoughts and musings on living a life with nothing artificial added.