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Book review: 'Table for Two' provides fun summer diversion for readers

By Connie Lewis

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, July 21 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"TABLE FOR TWO," by Sheryl C. S. Johnson, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 260 pages (f)

“Table for Two” by Sheryl C. S. Johnson is a fun summer read. It is just the type of book that would be a welcome addition at the beach or on a camping trip.

Published by Covenant Communications, “Table for Two” is a Mormon romance with likable characters and an engaging plot. Many readers will recognize the dilemmas that face Jana Barrowman, the protagonist, as she struggles to find her place in the world. Whether she can find someone to share her life with is the driving focus of the book.

Living a comfortable, if not completely satisfying life, Jana is offered a job as a creative consultant in Seattle. She will be working for Alex Steadman, a widower and restaurant owner, who wants to fulfill his late wife's dream of opening a boutique. There is some definite chemistry between Jana and Alex, but she is torn between her feelings and her desire for an eternal marriage.

Jana has an extended family that is always willing to offer her advice, but she is a strong, independent woman dedicated to making her own choices and going her own way. She faces many challenges and uses a logical approach to think through the problems she encounters while at the same time relying on the Spirit to confirm her decisions.

Gospel issues are scattered throughout the book in a subtle way that allows the reader to gain some new insights without feeling preached to. Particularly welcome were references to missionary work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The author shows the benefits of missionary work — not only to those being taught but to the missionary as well.

The plot wears a little thin as Jana take so long to come to a resolution. Some of the plot points are a little repetitive, but overall “Table for Two” is a satisfying read and a fun summer diversion.

Geared to young-adult and adult audiences there is nothing in the book that is inappropriate. Alcohol use in mentioned but is not a major part of the book.

Johnson lives in West Jordan, Utah, and graduated from Westminster College with a degree in finance. She says she “loves writing fiction” and it shows in the quality of her work.

After attending BYU and the University of Utah for five years and not being able to settle on just one major, Connie Lewis decided to be a writer so she could keep studying all things wonderful and new.

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