Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Come to the Table {Review}

Come to the Table, by Neta Jackson, picks up where Stand by Me left off.  When I read that book in the spring, I knew it was set up perfectly for a second novel and have been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to review it.  Come to the Table opens with our three university students (Bree, Nick, and Kat) and their newest roommate (Rochelle) navigating what it means to live in a multi-racial community.  We see Kat, who's own overzealous passion for eating healthy, overshadows the humanity of those she's trying to serve.  And then there's Nick, the only guy surrounded by estrogen and encountering his first pastoral assignment.

Challenged to examine her motives, Kat becomes frustrated by the church leaders.  But instead of charging forward on her own, she takes their advice and looks into a local food pantry.  When her zeal isn't tempered, but rather redirected, the entire church finds itself launched into a mission from the Lord.  Meanwhile, we have Nick who finds himself in a wild, adventurous position.  Stepping into SouledOut Community Church, Nick is quickly thrust into an interm pastor position, and all the responsibility that entails.  To complicate matters further, he also becomes entangled with not one, but two roommates who hold a romantic interest in him.  How's he going to get out of this one?

Besides our main characters, Jackson develops multiple minor characters that are fun to watch and grow throughout the book.  Kat's relationship with Avis Douglas softens and continues on its motherly journey.  Edesa emerges as a more central character as we see her struggling through her own commitment to whatever the Lord has for her.  And Rochelle becomes a more well-rounded character as we learn more about what drove her to the streets and her struggle to get back on her feet.

All in all, this Come to the Table was a fantastic book.  It held my interest from cover to cover and continued to challenge me as well.  How often can you say that about a work of fiction?  This book could be read alone.  However, if you get a chance, pick up the first book as well.  You won't be disappointed.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.

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