The Quilt

   3W, 3H

Bunn, T. Davis, (c. 1993). The Quilt.  Bethany House. 125 pages , $12.99.

ISBN:  1556613458

Reviews
Blogger Review, Bookloons

Annotation:

Mary’s arthritis grew worse yet she needed to make one last quilt.  With guidance and prayer, the quilt helps the town rediscover life’s true gifts.

Summary:  

Mary is like everyone’s grandmother, a sweet, elderly woman who was known not just for her kindness but also for her amazing quilts.  One day, while twisting her arthritic hands, she tells her son that she needs to make one last quilt.  Although the task is physically impossible for Mary, she is determined to make it happen.  With assistance from her daughter in laws, friends and fellow church go-ers, Mary instructs them on how to make the quilt emphasizing the importance of saying a prayer of thanks with every stitch made.  Soon all the women in the town are pitching in to make Mary’s quilt.  They are drawn to the serene and spiritual atmosphere surrounding the project.

All involved in the creation of Mary’s quilt, walk away from the project knowing more about their lives and the importance of His divine guidance.  With this increased understanding of God’s presence the quilt takes on new meaning and brings light to the those surrounded by Mary’s kindness.

Evaluation:

This is a quick read with writing that is leisurely and reflective.  For those who enjoy Christian Fiction, this book could bring comfort and reassurance to those that may have forgotten the power of prayer.  With pleasant characters and little if any angst, this story is peaceful and may be just the thing for someone who wants to be reminded of how important faith is in everyday life.

Genre/Subgenre:

Christian Fiction

Readalikes:

Katy’s Way by Marta Perry

Homecoming at Hickory Ridge by Dana Corbit

One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn

Book Discussion Questions:

How does Mary draw people into the project?

What does the quilt represent?

What impact does this project have on the community?

The author never states a time or place for the story.  When do you think it takes place and where?

Do you think something like this could happen in today’s world?

Reasons for selection:

I am unfamiliar with Christian Fiction so found the selection by searching the genre in NoveList.  T. Davis Bunn has written many novels in this genre so I am pleased to have read one of them.  It was a short and pleasant read which should satisfy my initial knowledge of this subject.

The Last Runaway

  4W, 4H audio

Chevalier, Tracy, (c. 2013). The Last Runaway.  Penguin Audio. 8 discs (10 hours) , $32.99   Read by Kate Reading.

ISBN:  9781611761412

Reviews

The Guardian, Oprah.com

Annotation:

Immigrating to America in 1850, Honor moves into pre-Civil War Ohio where she must establish roots while not losing her sense of self.

Summary:  

Honor Bright travels with her sister from England to help her get settled with her new husband in Ohio.  It’s 1850 in America and Honor, a young, quiet Quaker woman, finds herself stranded in this foreign land when her sister dies on the journey.  Befriended by a milliner, Honor’s sewing skills help Belle with her business until Honor must leave to settle with a Quaker family in the neighboring town of Faithwell.  But Belle’s brother, Donovan, has taken an interest in Hope which does not bode well for Belle’s other business, that of helping free slaves through the underground railroad.  Donovan is a slave hunter and a good one at that.  His unwanted attention raises questions in Faithwell and puts Honor in a precarious position with her new family.

But Honor is true to her faith.  She understands the danger involved yet she becomes part of the underground railroad, helping slaves on their journey to freedom.  As she tries to fit in with her American family and avoid Donovan and his baffling appeal, Honor strives to do what is best until she is pushed too far and she can no longer distinguish between right and wrong.

Evaluation:

Beautifully written, Chevalier creates a story that captures an element of american history from the perspective of a reluctant immigrant who sees America and its challenges with fresh eyes.  The struggles of the “slave issue” in the free state of Ohio are just as intense as elsewhere with Honor’s character having to battle with the moral ambiguity of helping to free innocent people and protecting her own family.  A great work of historical fiction. brought to life with the reading  by Kate Reading whose different voices, inflections and accents created a vivid picture of life in America as seen through the eyes of Chevalier’s characters.

Genre/Subgenre:

Historical Fiction

Readalikes:

The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Book Discussion Questions:

Quilting is significant to the main character.  How does it enhance the story?

Which character(s) would you have liked to see more developed?

How is Honor “flawed”?  Are there aspects about her character that you find difficult to comprehend?

Reasons for selection:

This book was chosen for one of our class’s book discussion selections.  I listened to it thinking that I might not be able to get into it by reading the print version due to the pace of the story (an assumption).  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and found myself intrigued by the story and wondering how Chevalier was going to effectively bring all the pieces together.