Title: The Quilted Heart
Review: I will start out by saying this is not the type of book that enjoy, I am not a romance reader of any kind. That said this was a very well written book and the characters were brought to life by the talents of the author. She was able to give the characters life with her descriptions of who they were, where they came from and the problems and joys they are going through.
This is a Christian novella, so be ready for the mention of the Lord and the use of bible verses many times. I did enjoy that the book was clean and without foul language.
The story takes place just after the ending of the Civil War in America and deals with the lives of three women of different backgrounds and a quilting circle that they belong to.
The first novella is about Maren, who is from Denmark and came to America to marry a Danish boy, who upon finding out that she had problems with her eyes that would eventually blind her, decided against the marriage, thus leaving her stranded in a new country with no means of support.
The second novella introduces Emilie into the mix and tells her story as the daughter of a shop keeper in the town of St. Charles, Missouri. St Charles is where Maren is at the time the story opens. Emilie’s father is determined that she go to college to further her education, Emilie is not so sure but goes with her father’s wishes while still pursuing her own.
The third novella introduces Caroline, the young wife of a Union soldier, who finds herself widowed at the end of the war. Caroline goes to live with her sister and her family but wants a life of her own and going west seems the most exciting of idea’s. Caroline faces opposition from the wagon master because she is a widow and he refuses to take her along. But she will not be deterred, and goes to work to figure out how to be on that wagon train when it leaves in the spring.
To give you an idea of the writing and descriptions I include the first paragraph of Chapter 15
“Caroline had lain awake much of the night. When the rain wasn’t tapping the roof, she listened to Cora and Mary’s sleep breathing, a chorus of soft snores and gentle whistles.
Her mind no less active than the night’s sounds, Caroline considered the events of the past several months. Her stagecoach ride to Saint Charles from Philadelphia. Her first tentative ride to the farm to join the quilting circle. Carrett Cowlishaw delivering the news of her Phillip’s death in Mrs. Brantenberg’s kitchen. Coffee time conversations with Jewell, Mrs. Brantenberg, Maren, Emilie, Hattie and Anna…..Gilbert’s suggestion that she go west with the caravan. Mr. Cowlishaw’s resounding NO…..so many thoughts swirling with the raindrops.”
These three novellas do not end the saga of these three women and the quilting circle of friendship that gave each of them support and comfort. The novella’s seems to be an introduction of these quilting sisters and I believe that the characters will continue in future books
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for great character development and a good clean read.
Thanks go to Eileen for this review.
Published: Published January 21st 2014 by WaterBrook Press
Page Count: 368
Quick Review: 4 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title: Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.
Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?
Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?
Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?
Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?
Author Information: MONA HODGSON writes historical romance fiction set in American history and peopled with ensemble casts. Mona is the author of Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and Twice a Bride in THE SINCLAIR SISTERS OF CRIPPLE CREEK SERIES and THE QUILTED HEART Novellas--Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along te Shore, and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the HEARTS SEEKING HOME SERIES--all published with WaterBrook Multnomah--Penguin Random Publishing. Her writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books, contributions to eleven books for adults, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in newspapers and magazines. One of Mona’s favorite things to do (besides writing or eating dark chocolate) is to speak at women's retreats and schools, and for women’s groups, librarians, and at writers’ conferences. Mona from Arizona lives with her hubby, Bob.