My book review of 'A Place at the Table' by Miranda Harris and Jo Swinney
When Miranda Harris died tragically in a car accident, she left a book unfinished.
She had been writing about hospitality - a gift she had practised with abundance and for which she was known and loved.
Her daughter, Jo Swinney discovered her mother's papers and assembled them, and interwove them with her own memories of family life and the lessons she's learned about reaching out to others with food and friendship.
This is an extraordinary book full of riches. While it has sprung from great sadness and loss, it is a book of hope, joy and generosity and is very uplifting, challenging and encouraging.
The strongest message is that simple kindness is the best gift. There's no need to have a large and comfortable home, or a table groaning with lavish food and drink. Instead we should all know the value of getting alongside someone with time, gentleness and companionship while satisfying basic needs of food and shelter.
"It doesn't even require a home of one's own; true hospitality offers a welcome into imperfection and messiness, a place to belong and be embraced."
This is a brilliant book which I hope I'll return to time and again.