The Quilted Heart
by Mona Hodgson
-From the back cover-
Dandelions On The Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job at 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 capture Emilie's 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 the future? Or will the ripples of God's love bring the answer she needs?
This Book earned a 4 Bark rating.
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They are hodge-podge family at best, and when Mrs. Brantenberg's son-in-law returns after years away fighting, they are even more so. Each person on the farm has their own struggles with forgiveness and moving forward in life.
The characters in this story are varied and interesting but I have to admit that my favorite is Gabi, she could win anyone's heart.
This story is a wonderful start to this novella collection. Sometimes the reader just liked to take a break and read a quiet, sweet, story that uplifts the heart and encourages a person.
I think in many ways this is the story I identified with the most. Some of the circumstances in my own life have a loose similarity to Emilie's.
There is much in this story about honoring one's parents, both of the main characters do so in spite of the fact that they disagree.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this novella was the love of family, through multiple generations, that is woven throughout the story.
This story was a little different from the others, Caroline is in a little bit different season of life than her quilting circle friends Maren and Emilie. Still young, but now a widow, Caroline lives with her sister and troubled brother-in-law.
Romance isn't a huge feature in this story and I enjoyed how that allowed the family relationships to be in the forefront. It was wonderful seeing how much Caroline loves her sister and her nieces, she will put up with a lot for their sakes.
I also liked getting to know Caroline and watching her first steps out of grief and into independence.
I started this book with the double interest of another Mona Hodgson story and learning more about the pasts of some of the characters I had read about in Prairie Song. The Quilted Heart didn't disappoint at all.
An important aspect of this book that encompasses all three novellas is the value of friendship. The quilting circle is headed by Mrs. Brantenberg, a widow and grandmother, and is populated with women and older girls over various ages and stages in life. They share their burdens and triumphs equally with each stitch. Prayer is done together, wisdom and practical advice are dispensed with Biblical words.
Full of quilt patterns, old proverbs, sage Biblical advice, and romance, this book is a must read for anyone that loves Mona Hodgson, quilts, or Historical Fiction in general!
Tell Tale Book Reviews gives The Quilted Heart by Mona Hodgson a 4 Bark rating.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (January 21, 2014)
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