Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Book Review: A Patchwork Christmas

A Patchwork Christmas. Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, Stephanie Grace Whitson. 2012. Barbour. 403 pages. [Source: Bought]

A Patchwork Christmas is a novella collection. All three novellas are set in America in the late nineteenth century. Judith Miller's Seams Like Love is set in 1890 in the Amana Colonies. A Patchwork Love by Stephanie Grace Whitson is set in 1875 in the midwest--somewhere between Nebraska and Colorado. Nancy Moser's Bridal Quilt is set in 1889 and 1890 in New York.

I'll start with my favorite. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Stephanie Grace Whitson's A Patchwork Love. Jane McClure is a widow struggling to raise her daughter on her own. When the novel opens, she and her daughter are traveling to meet the man she's been corresponding with. He lives in Colorado. He has invited them both to spend the holidays with him. If the visit goes well, Jane knows that a proposal and marriage will be forthcoming. True she knows very little--if anything--about him, and true, her daughter, has her doubts. But she feels she must take a chance. She needs this to work, doesn't she. There are two things she didn't take into consideration. 1) The weather!!! The train is supposed to arrive in time for them to spend Christmas together. Mrs. McClure certainly didn't plan on the weather stopping the train and leaving her stranded! 2) Molly's health. (She's the daughter). When the train becomes snowbound, a kind woman offers up her home and her skills. She may not be a 'real' doctor, but, she knows her remedies. This woman has a son, Peter. I loved, loved, loved, LOVED him. This novella is just about perfect.

My least favorite novella was Nancy Moser's Bridal Quilt. (It didn't help that it follows A Patchwork Love.) For the record, I liked this one well enough. I just didn't LOVE it so completely like I did A Patchwork Love. Ada loves Samuel. Samuel loves Ada. But when Samuel decides that he *must* help the less fortunate (orphans) even if it means losing his inheritance, he loses Ada. Was it Ada's fault? Not really. It wasn't like she dismissed him when he lost his inheritance. It wasn't like she made him choose between marrying her and volunteering at the orphanage. In fact, if it was anyone's fault, it was his. He decided that he couldn't possibly marry her if he lost his money and inheritance. He didn't give her the choice to accept him or reject him as he was. So what will happen when these two meet again a year later?! Will she let him know that she still loves him? Will he speak up and admit he still loves her? Will either one ever communicate honestly and openly with the other?! I found myself frustrated by some of the characters in this one. But, I did like that it features his grandfather and her grandmother.

Did I enjoy Judith Miller's Seams Like Love? Yes, for the most part. My least favorite part of it may just be the title itself! Karla Stuke is the heroine. She is being given a second opportunity to love. If she's brave enough to go for it. Karla had been jilted previously. Since that supposed heartbreak, she's not the most confident. She's content to let her sister be the beautiful one. And her sister is indeed engaged. Karla is keeping busy helping her sister. But an old friend--a very, very, very good old friend--has recently returned and is staying at their hotel. These two may find themselves falling in love with each other over the holidays. I liked this one. I did. It was sweet and charming and lovely. I liked Frank. I liked Karla. I thought the romance was nicely developed.

I would definitely recommend A Patchwork Christmas.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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