A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga. Abingdon Press, April 2014. (9781426758850) Series: Quilts of Love #17
I found this book to read for the Book Cover Bingo game (needed a quilt) and if just for this book, I’m so glad I’m participating in the game. Probably wouldn’t have requested this book otherwise. It made me laugh and it made me cry.
A baby quilt touches many hearts as it travels from family-to-family and through generations.
After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.
Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.
Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.
Clara’s story is told by Clara herself as she looks back to her experiences before, during and just after the war. The author gets the tone perfect because it really felt like a 70 something year old woman reminiscing and telling her grandson the story of the quilt.
The quilt doesn’t come into play until midway through her tale but it plays an important role after that in helping her heal and feel useful. It’s what ties the whole story together in a very touching way.
I loved this story because it reminded me that everyone has a story to tell and wisdom to share; especially those who have lived half a dozen decades or more. Which is exactly what Clara wanted her grandson to learn. Among other things.
But Clara isn’t perfect and above reproach either, she’s still learning, still experiencing. Life’s lessons don’t end until life ends. And I’m so glad the book ends on a happy note with something to look forward to.
The characters are interesting, life back in the 1940s and 50s is simply yet vividly described, and it’s a wonderful reminder of what our grandparents or even great-grand parents went through.
Read it if you enjoy simple but sweet lifelong romance, World War II fiction, tales about nurses, or present day stories mixed with the past.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.
Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.