My book club, By The Book, will celebrate 11 years of reading in September. We have read some great books over the past years, and I thought it would be fun to share some of those. Our very first year we read Velma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright, and those of us who are charter members still site this novel as one of our favorites. Hampton’s writing is excellent, and this book holds a BIG surprise none of us saw coming. If you get a chance to read this one, take it!
(From Amazon) As the town’s chief cook and part-time janitor for Jerusalem Baptist church, Velma Brendle has never done anything more outstanding than putting on a good meal at Velma’s Place, the one restaurant in Leeway, Kansas, but she takes good care of her customers, neighbors, and friends. However, in the midst of these two jobs, Velma’s husband stops talking, Cousin Albert comes to live with her, and she finds herself dealing with the town’s problems. As memories of past troubles plague her, she grows weary from even the tasks she loves the most. Old Sunday School lessons take on new meanings, and new problems illuminate trials Velma thought were long over. In sudden leaps of faith and moments of tragedy, Velma and all those she loves journey toward facing their sins and finding forgiveness.
Vinita Hampton Wright has been a book editor for nearly two decades, currently senior editor at Loyola Press in Chicago. She leads workshops around the country on the creative-spiritual process — The Soul Tells a Story grew out of this work. Of her full-length novels, Velma Still Cooks in Leeway won a Logos Book-of-the-Year award, and Dwelling Places was selected by Christianity Today as Best Fiction of 2007.
To purchase a copy of this book, click on the image below.