4.6 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    very enjoyable
    July 29, 2019
    Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for A Place at Our Table.
    This was one of my favorite books I have read by Amy Clipston. This had romance and a little bit of tragedy. Both Kayla and Jamie must overcome some tough obstacles to make it together. This will have you laughing and crying. I believe that this will make a great beach read or anytime read.
  2. ADFehl
    Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Amish Homestead #1
    March 12, 2019
    ADFehl
    Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 2
    This review was written for A Place at Our Table.
    2.5 Stars

    Jamie Riehl has his hands full trying to find balance between his work as a part-time volunteer firefighter and his duties at the family's dairy farm. Now, at twenty-five, his parents are heavily hinting that he should be looking to settle down with a nice girl, but where is he supposed to fit that in?

    Meanwhile, Kayla Dienner is still mourning the loss of her eldest brother, also a firefighter, who lost his life during a call last year. This year, Jamie's crew is called out to the Dienner home (Kayla shares with her parents and fourteen year old brother, Nathan) after a lightning strike sets the barn on fire. Nathan had rushed out to the barn to try to get the animals out but got trapped inside when a beam fell.

    Jamie's crew are able to rescue Nathan. Full of gratitude, Nathan confesses to Jamie and Kayla his own desire to become a firefighter. Kayla is vehemently against the idea but Nathan is not one to give up easily, spending the rest of the novel getting the rest of the Dienner family to come around to his way of thinking.

    Jamie and Kayla begin to spend more and more time together, a moment here and there, mainly through the barn raising put together to replace the previous ruined structure. They butt heads from time to time but can't deny that they are drawn towards each other in some way, even if neither will admit these feelings go beyond friendship. Kayla gets a push towards love from an unexpected source: Eva, the widow of Kayla's deceased brother, Simeon. Eva, in so many words, urges Kayla to see that while it might be scary to risk one's heart, the experience, for better or worse, will be better than keeping the heart in a state of numbness.

    The story opens and (nearly) closes with a fire, there's a part about 9 1/2 chapters in where something mildly exciting happens, and then... well, that's about the most action you'll get out of the plot on this one. Everything else reads like a lot of filler, chapters and chapters full of little more than Do I / Don't I debates or "You like him /her!" "No, I don't!" back and forths. The plot just doesn't hold momentum well.

    Nathan was a well-written character EXCEPT the fact that his dialogue rarely sounded like the speech of a fourteen year old. More like he alternated between sounding about 9 or, suddenly, a 40 year old man LOL. I don't know, maybe that's not an uncommon trait for real Amish kids, but it read weird.

    There was definitely a cute and heartwarming friendship between Jamie and Kayla, but IMO the romance there was FLAT. Flat, flat, flat. But of course you can expect to find an almost Insta-Love element here. While Kayla's character may read a little obnoxious to some, the way she wants Jamie to make her first priority over the fire department, there is an element of reality there. Being a fire wife myself, I can attest it is a very real concern in this type of relationship, one that takes years to come to terms with... the fact that no matter how much you love the man, you can never be top priority. You just can't. The nature of the fire department doesn't allow it. Until the day your spouse retires, you basically have them on loan from the department. Firefighters do the best they can, but if they made you top priority the way you want, every time you want, they'd likely be unemployed pretty quick. The structure of the job asks you to be available 24/7.

    *Note: in her author's note, Amy Clipston mentioned that she did consult with the guys at Monroe, NC FD during the writing process, but no word if she also got some WIFE perspective on the job... because that definitely is a whole other animal with its own set of challenges that the firefighter would really only have an outsider perspective on.

    And yes, on the wife's end, it IS aggravating. I still get mad about it some days, so I can understand Kayla's frustration. The demands she makes on Jamie are a little on the unreasonable side, but it's early on in their relationship when we meet them here. There are more books in the series where we may see Kayla mature into the position of dating / be married to a firefighter, where maybe she better understands the sacrifices that will be required of her to make the relationship work. Eva gives her some pointers on this as well, in this book. Jamie needs some time to mature some as well, at least mentally... it sounds odd at his age to have to ask "I'm sorry we fought, are you still my girlfriend?" Something I would expect a preschooler to ask!

    This first novel in the series does touch upon important themes of death, grief, and regret stemming from feeling like you didn't appreciate a loved one enough before their time came. I'm just hoping the storylines in the later books of the series prove a little more captivating.

    FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
  3. Lorraine A
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A MUST READ!!
    October 8, 2018
    Lorraine A
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    This review was written for A Place at Our Table.
    This is a well written story of heartache, blame, grieving and learning to lean on God.

    From page one you're drawn into to the lives of the Dienner's and the Riehl's. Simeon Dienner was a son, husband, and father to a baby boy. He was also a volunteer firefighter and died in a fire. Simeon's younger brother Nathan was also interested in fighting fires which had sister Kayla worried she'd lose her last sibling.

    Dorothy Riehl was a wife and mother. Her son Jamie was a volunteer firefighter and worked alongside his father and brother on the farm when he wasn't at the fire station. Jamie was so busy, in fact, that he never got around to fixing the railing on the cellar stairs. One day when Dorothy went down to the cellar she fell down the stairs and died.

    Firefighting was a big part of this story. The two families became close friends after a fire destroyed the Dienner's barn and Jamie was on duty when the call went out.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to read the second one Room On The Porch Swing.
  4. Myrt
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    5 Stars for sure
    March 20, 2018
    Myrt
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for A Place at Our Table.
    A Place At Our Table is a must read, 5-star story. You don't be disappointed. I highly recommend reading this fantastic story
  5. KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A multi-layered love story
    March 5, 2018
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for A Place at Our Table.
    This starts out as a classic love story -- boy meets girl, sparks fly, complications ensue -- but then it morphs into so much more. Because there is one complication that...well, it took my breath away. It had me closing the book in disbelief and dismay because this was so not where I saw things going. At all. And it made my heart hurt. And from that one situation a deeper story blossoms. One where the characters have to stop trying to figure God out and just trust Him. Where they have to face the hard stuff and get through just because it's the right thing...the only thing...to do. Where loving someone is as risky as it gets but also completely and utterly necessary. Because we aren't meant to live this life alone. We were created to love and support one another. And it's hard. And scary. But also thrilling. So, if you like your romance with a bit of kick to it, A Place at the Table is the book for you.
Displaying items 1-5 of 30
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