CatholicReads.com is a website which reviews select inspirational novels and in turn offers them for a period of time at a discount on their site. You can visit the site at; https://catholicreads.com/2018/11/03/the-table-by-dennis-lambert/ Below is a copy of their review of "The Table".
The Table by Dennis Lambert
Review by S. Leigh Hall
A miraculous table built over 2000 years ago by the grandfather of Jesus Christ and marked beneath with the words “Love has come” survives the darkest moment in salvation history to bring peace over 2000 years later to a modern day musician just as he loses the love of his life in a terrible accident.
Author Dennis Lambert links two different eras in an incredible journey through Church history to present day. Though the trail of the table isn't fully revealed until the end of the book, two stories weave together thematically to show how humanity survives through its brokenness with the assistance of faith and love.
The saga begins with Jacob, the father of Joseph, at the bedside of his dying wife, Rebecca. She elicits a promise from her husband with her last words, revealed to her by an angel, “Believe what Joseph tells you.” Years later, a heart to heart talk between Joseph and Jacob introduces the words of another angel regarding the pregnancy of Joseph’s wife and the incarnate birth of their son. Though elated to discover his grandson is the Messiah, Jacob is heartbroken to learn that they must flee to Egypt to save the child.
Between each of these first chapters, Lambert time-travels to the 21st century to the life of Michael Fortunato and his wife, Debbie who together realize the dream of their married life to attain success in the music industry. Just as they say yes to touring as the opening act for a famous rock and roll band, Debbie loses her life in a car accident throwing Michael into a deep, downward spin.
The writing of the book is top notch. As a deacon, Lambert knows his church history. I marveled at the characters he sprinkles throughout his narrative whose names resonate with similar characters in the Old and New Testament. The original Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebecca, married Rachel, who bore a son named Joseph. Lambert uses the name Rebecca as the mother of Joseph, father of Jesus though we don't know her actual name. Other familiar names are Ephraim, Simeon, and Laban.
Most prominent of the Biblical characters other than the Holy Family is Cornelius. He is a Centurion who witnesses the changing of water into wine by Jesus at the wedding of a wealthy merchant’s daughter and becomes fascinated by the young Messiah. When the merchant is arrested by Roman soldiers and all his belongings are confiscated, Cornelius decides he must rescue the Table where the miracle took place. He finds it discarded in a courtyard and witnesses the horrible scourging of the man he so admires. The Table that holds the whips used by the Roman soldiers is splattered with the blood of Jesus. Cornelius becomes the Table Bearer when Jesus raises his head, looks at the Centurion and whispers the words, “Love has come.”
The chapters intertwine back and forth, and in the current time, Michael must find a reason to continue living without his wife. Friends attempt to entice him back to his love of music, but it isn’t until he meets an Autistic young man named Anthony that he takes a step out of his depression. Anthony carries a family secret in his backpack that no one is allowed to see, and since the death of his only living relative, he needs someone he can trust to care for him.
I think I learned a little about Lambert as I read this novel. Obviously, he loves music, and he and his wife, also named Debbie, perform together in bands. If I met him, my first question would be, “Have you ever performed with a famous Rock and Roll band?”
This book is undoubtedly great for young adults, but as an older "folk," I also enjoyed the music scene theme. The worldview is definitely Catholic, but any person who appreciates a good, clean read would find it here.
I actually purchased this book about a year and a half ago but due to selling one home, putting things in storage for 17 months and then moving in to a new home, I “lost” it and recently found it and read it. What an interesting book! I am so glad that I finally found it. I believe you will be glad too when you find one and read it.
THE TABLE is a book that jumps back and forth from biblical times to modern times. The link is a very special table that the grandfather of Jesus made as a result of a miracle. It seems that blessings and miracles and peace seem to follow the table and those who own it. I really don’t want to give you a complete synopsis of the book because there are a number of surprises in the book that I don’t want to spoil for you. Suffice it to say that the table that Jesus’ grandfather made was not only a miracle in its time, but continued to bring miracles to people who struggled with everyday life.
I found the book to be difficult to put down. It was intriguing on so many levels. Deacon Lambert is a great writer who knows how to weave a great story. The characters, whether they are from the biblical time, or from the modern time, are interesting, very human, and very likeable. I especially liked how he portrayed Jesus and His family. Some of the writing made me feel like I was reading an expanded Gospel that was written to fill in some of the details left out by the scriptures. He did the same in writing about the early Church figures. When reading about the biblical times, you actually felt like you were there.
The figures in the modern time were wonderful. They were people that you could most definitely relate to. Their fears and hurts and successes were ones that we too could have experienced. In the midst of both tragedy and elation, the characters were so very human and believable. I found myself rooting for them at the various parts of their life and tearing up for them at their difficult times. This book certainly brought out many emotions for me.
This historical fiction provides not only great entertainment, but also serves as a way to grow spiritually. It is a book for all people, but most certainly will speak very loudly to Catholics with its description of the mass and sacraments. You cannot help but to read this book and see God at work in the lives of the characters and transfer that in to your own life. God is very much alive and at work in this book. I see it as a great gift for those who have fallen away from the faith. They will find the book so interesting that they can’t put it down, and at the same time have their own spirituality awakened. I believe that this is the first published book by Deacon Dennis Lambert. I am anxiously awaiting another one by him.
For More Visit Dcn Marty's "Growing In Our Faith": http://deaconmarty.com/growing-in-our-faith-blog/