Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Quilted Heart

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?

What a wonderful collection of stories this is! I haven't read many novella collections but I have read enough to know that they don't all following the same "rules". The last one I read, the stories were tied together by the location but the characters didn't really carry from one story to the other except for a mention of how the characters from the previous story were doing. In this collection, the characters from the previous stories play a larger part in the next story. It's almost like as the story continues, another voice does the story-telling from their point of view.

This lovely group of ladies, who meet every Thursday to quilt, are strong, devoted ladies picking up the pieces of their lives after the Civil War. Each has experienced trials along the trail to true love. And each is faced with an obstacle to overcome in the face of that true love.

Such a joy to know that you can read one story in a day - but then when you pick up the next day, you'll run into some of the people you met the day before but it's a fresh, new story.

For more information on Mona Hodgson, you can check out her website:

You can read the first chapter of the book here:

Highly recommended.


I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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