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Literary Friday: The Gathering Table (excerpt)

Friday, September 24, 2021


Hello, My Lovelies!  For three days I'm sharing three books for your Autumn Reading List.

Today's featured book is The Gathering Table by Kathryn Springer.  An excerpt for your reading enjoyment is at the bottom of this post, and y'all can read my full review of the book on October 8th.

Available in paperback at Walmart, or online from your favorite audio or ebook retailer.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on their tour!

According to Goodreads:

“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.

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt #2 

The smoke had dissipated and there seemed to be no wit­nesses to Jess’s less-than-perfect landing, so she took a quick inventory of her surroundings. The neighborhood looked old but well cared for, the houses uniform in size and shape. Painted in an array of watercolor pastels, they lined the street like a tidy row of French macarons.

Jess’s gaze locked on one the color of vanilla buttercream. The top tier was almost completely hidden behind a veil of English ivy. It flowed around the base of the stone chimney and fanned out over the roof, unraveling into a fringe of em­erald green that covered the top of the mullioned windows in a jaunty half wink. A tangle of sweet pea, larkspur and blue delphinium peacefully comingled in the drift of laven­der that hemmed the foundation.

The whole effect was sweet. Charming.

If you were Snow White.

Jess’s vision blurred.

An image of soaring glass walls and miles of black slate flashed through her mind. Clean lines. Sleek surfaces. Any­thing green, shorn and sculpted into works of modern art.

You can still change your mind.

Jess shut down the inner voice and the tears that banked behind her eyes.

Because she couldn’t change the fact that she had nowhere else to go. And a car Jess didn’t trust to make it to the near­est service station, let alone the county line.


Jess whirled around, unaware that while she’d been star­ing at the house, a small group of women had stopped on the sidewalk to stare at her, their expressions ranging from disbelief to blatant curiosity.

The shortest of the three took a step forward. She re­minded Jess of Cinderella’s fairy godmother. An iron-gray bob framed a face as round as a pumpkin, a smile carved in every line. The hem of the woman’s voluminous denim sun­dress ended where the tops of her cherry-red Keds began.

“Are you Jessie?” she ventured. “The young woman Elaine hired to help around the house?”

I’m a chef, Jess wanted to shout, if only to remind herself. She managed a jerky nod instead. “Yes. And it’s Jessica,” she corrected. “Jessica Keaton.”

If you'd like to read more, below is a list of sites posting excerpts:

Tour stops:

Monday, September 20th: @everlasting.charm - review

Monday, September 20th: - review

Tuesday, September 21st: Books, Cooks, Looks - excerpt

Tuesday, September 21st: @literannie - review

Wednesday, September 22nd: @jenniaahava - review

Wednesday, September 22nd: A Baker's Perspective - review

Thursday, September 23rd: - review

Thursday, September 23rd: @readitandquip - review

Friday, September 24th: The Bookish Dilettante - excerpt

Friday, September 24th: @nurse_bookie - review

Friday, September 24th: @stumblingintobooks - review

Saturday, September 25th: Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama - excerpt

Saturday, September 25th: Christian Chick's Thoughts and @cctblog - review

Sunday, September 26th: @bookscoffeephotography - review

Sunday, September 26th: @vivibookshelf - review

Monday, September 27th: Living My Best Book Life - excerpt @livingmybestbooklife - review

Monday, September 27th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy - review and excerpt

Monday, September 27th: From the TBR Pile - review and excerpt

Tuesday, September 28th: Books and Benches - excerpt

Tuesday, September 28th: Susan Loves Books - review and excerpt

Wednesday, September 29th: @travelerswife4life - review

Wednesday, September 29th: @webreakforbooks - review

Wednesday, September 29th: What is That Book About - excerpt

Thursday, September 30th: @plains_reading - review

Thursday, September 30th: @what.ems.reading - review

Thursday, September 30th: @books_faith_love - review

Friday, October 1st: What is That Book About - review

Friday, October 1st: Well Read Traveler and @wellreadtraveler - review and excerpt

Friday, October 1st: @kristens.reading.nook - review

Friday, October 8th: The Bookish Dilettante - review

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Purchase Links

Love Inspired | Amazon Barnes & Noble

Connect with Kathryn

Website | Facebook | Instagram

I've shared with you three very different books over the past three days.  Will you be adding any of them to your Autumn Reading List?  Which one appeals to you most?

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Oh I definitely want to read this. Sounds like the perfect cozy fall read. :)

  2. This one sounds good and I love the cover! Is it ok to judge this book that way? Haha!! The decor lover in me is smitten.

  3. Love the cover! I think it's the perfect season for this book. I always pray for our country and always enjoy your art, photos and scripture........Have a wonderful week.

  4. This book sounds really appealing to me, Ricki Jill!

  5. Sounds like a lovely book Ricki. Happy October.


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Hello, Lovelies!

I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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