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The Painted Table by Suzanne Field

The Painted Table is a novel that spans from the years of 1858-1975. A Norwegian table that has lasted through four generations. A table created in love with a message of hope, love, and faith. But for all this table doesn't have the same message. For Joann life was not easy as a child. She seemed to be the child unloved. The child seeking and never gaining an inch. She was the child left out and wanting. This life seemed to own her all of her years. Joann would be diagnosed with schizophrenia. This would be years after she left home, married and had children. 

Joann married her sweetheart Nel and had two beautiful daughters, Saffee and April. This home now holds the heirloom table. A table with a legacy that would be a choice of those who owned it. For Joann, this table brought many emotions. Unsettled feelings from her childhood that never healed. Joann was torn from past and present. So wanting normalcy, but never escaping the the past. Joann was haunted. 

Yes, this is the story of Joann, but her story carries on with her husband and her children. For the most part, this is Saffee's story. We watch Saffee from her birth, her childhood and into her marriage. 

I must tell you I am not sure I enjoyed this story. If I must give it a rating, it would a five star. The writing is spectacular. As I read it was as though I was right there with this family beaten and bruised. This wasn't a feel good read for me. It was more of a hit you in the gut read. Being  a mercy, my heart was wrenching for this family. Suzanne brings us to feel each emotion. I wanted to escape with them. But more so I wanted to see healing come.  All I wanted was to be finished with this story, but still yet, I couldn't put it down. Almost half way through I had to skip to the last chapter. I had to see how Saffee turned out. I had to see if there was grace and redemption for this sweet girl trapped. For this family after all they had been through. After reading the last chapter, I turned back and finished the novel. This isn't something I often do, but with story I had to. Suzanne is such a gifted writer. Her penned words not only touch the heart, but leave you pondering. This is not a book you will soon forget. This is not an easy read, but one that is so real for so many. One that is heartbreaking and healing at the same time. 

I applaud Suzanne for writing such a powerful story. Yes, it is one of redemption and grace. We move from house to house with this family and they continue to try to create a home. I love the words of Saffee. Near the end of the story she realizes, "People are not perfect-until you fall in love with them." There are so many life lessons to take away from this beautifully written story. We inherit many things. But our legacy is our own. 

This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you. 

This book will be available December 3, 2014. You can order it now at Amazon. 

Suzanne Field, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has taught English as a Second Language in China, Ukraine, and Hawaii. She has also been a magazine editor and home-school teacher. Suzanne writes to encourage others to rise above memories and embrace the goodness found in each day. She and her husband have five children and divide their time between Dallas and Hawaii where she is a tutor and mentor.


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