Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Come to the Table by Neta Jackson


This is the second in the SouledOut Sisters series, following Stand by Me. (See my review of Stand by Me here.) In that first book in the series, students at CCU took the Urban Experience class together, got involved in SouledOut Church, and decided to room together for the summer.
Nick, Kat and Bree are in the apartment they found, and with then are Rochelle and her son Conny.
Nick is working in a mail room for the summer as he anticipates finishing up his divinity degree in January. He is also serving his internship at SouledOut Community Church, a requirement for becoming a pastor.
Kat is helping at a summer school for elementary kids and working a half shift at a coffee shop. She has her resume out to the Chicago School District and looks forward to teaching in the fall – if she gets a teaching job.
Bree is working the other half of the shift at the coffee shop and will be going back to CCU in the fall.

In this continuation of the story, we see Kat begin to mature. She is a new Christian, getting saved just a few years ago at a music fest. Remember, she is the dumpster diver and is so concerned about people eating healthy food. She is challenged with the possibility of God having put in her the desire to see people fed and visits a food bank. Perhaps, she thinks, God wants her to start one at SouledOut Church.
Nick has become a father figure to little Conny and Rochelle thinks Nick would make a great husband. Nick is pretty oblivious to Rochelle's thoughts. He has eyes only for Kat, but he has never told her about his feelings.
Rochelle is looking for a job, any job. But it is hard as she has HIV, acquired from her abusive and wandering ex-husband.

The first part of this novel takes a while to get going, but then I was hooked. I really appreciated watching Kat mature into the faith. Nick is becoming a member of SouledOut and asks Kat to consider becoming a member as well. But baptism is a requirement and Kat struggles with that decision. Kat is jealous of Rochelle too. It's all the time and affection Nick shows to Conny. When Kat finds a way to channel her passion for healthy eating, she struggles with her motives. She turns to the Bible and finds what she needs.

This is a character driven novel, so don't expect lots of action. The tension in the plot is character development and maturing in the faith. It is a rewarding read and the end leaves you hanging just enough to look forward to a sequel.

Neta Jackson is the author of the award-wining Yada books. She and her husband, Dave, are also the authors of the award-wining Trailblazer series, historical novels for youth. She and her husband live in the Chicago area where the Yada stories are set. Find out more about them at www.DaveNeta.com.

Thomas Nelson Publishers, 392 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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