Review: A Patchwork Christmas by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser and Stephanie Grace Whitson

A Patchwork Christmas by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser and Stephanie Grace Whitson
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Publisher:  Barbour Books
Pages: 400
Source:  Netgalley

Join three of today’s bestselling inspirational fiction authors in a collection of Christmas stories from Victorian-era America that are full of second-chance romances.

Jilted by her fiancé, Karla packs away her wedding quilts and her plans for marriage. Widow Jane travels to marry a prosperous man she barely knows in order to give her daughter a better life—then is stranded in a winter storm. Ada, a wealthy ingénue, inadvertently causes grave injury to a poor man she once considered quite a catch. Each must search her heart, change her plans. . .and patch together a tender, unexpected life filled with love.

 

Review: This was an anthology with three stories that all had themes of Christmas, quilts, and lost loves – as well as love found. Each took place in the late 1800’s with many references to prayers for God’s guidance for each heroine to make the right choice for themselves. There, the similarities ended, since each story told a much different tale and each author’s own voice came through in their story.

Each story had well defined characters, plots and closure. At the back of each story there were craft patterns and recipes along with discussion questions to be either used for a book group or to just give more focus to the story just read. There was also a blurb about each of the authors. There was laughter and tears, happiness and sorrow, romances, angst, family and friends. As each story ended, I wished it could go on a little longer.

Seams Like Love had a lot of Christian dialog as well as a lot of German sayings. It felt like an Amish storyline but the characters were actually Inspirationists and that similarity was actually written into the story. When Karla thought her life was over and that she would never find love enter an old school friend Frank. Although it took Karla a long time to realize Frank’s intentions since she kept putting roadblocks in his way it seemed she was the only one with doubts. Had nice closure but was a little too much on the Christian and German dialogue for me. The story reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry in that both books had the communities living in communes with others setting out their path in life.

A Patchwork Love was actually my favorite since it was most real to me in its simplicity and Jane seemed to have the biggest heart. Watching Jane and her daughter Molly fit in with Peter and his mother Anna when they took shelter in their home was heartwarming in its sincerity. Each of them learned something from the others which added richness to their lives. The ending was unexpected but felt so right and was the closure I was hoping for.

The Bridal Quilt was set in New York City so it didn’t have the small town feel of the other two stories. It also involved people of wealth so there was another difference. The storyline didn’t seem as believable to me especially since it was set in 1889 but it was easy to be drawn in. The love that Samuel and Ada felt for each other was tested to the limits and didn’t have much support from family and friends but luckily they were strong enough to see their feelings through on their own. This story was the only one that had an epilogue which tied up the loose ends better than I could have hoped and let me see how Ada’s life turned out without projecting but from the author’s point of view.

I did like all three stories and I have not read books by any of these authors before. I do look forward to reading others by each of them.

Favorite Quote:  Seams Like Love by Judith Miller
…”Are you telling me that Oskar fell in love with someone else during your year of separation, and that he’s already married to her?”

A Patchwork Love by Stephanie Grace Whitson
…”I only tell you because-” She lowered her voice. “The child must not be frightened if she sees. He is a good man. Only hiding inside. Like in folktale. What is seen hides truth. You understand, ja?” Jane nodded…

The Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser
No place for Ada.
Looking around the room-even though he’d grown fond of this place and enjoyed using his allowance to provide for some of its needs-he had a hard time imagining Ada here. How could he ask a princess to visit a slum?