Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of "The Quilted Heart"

Review of The Quilted Heart Omnibus

(Quilted Hearts, #1-3)

by Mona Hodgson

17857637

Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace. 

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace? 

Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on 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? 
MY REVIEW of Book One, Dandelions on the Wind:  "Clutching her cloth doll, Gabi looked at her.  'My PaPa came back.'"  This story is told with gut-wrenching honesty given to the feelings of the characters.  It is not difficult to imagine the emotional pain and physical hardship it created for a grieving mother-in-law and young daughter for the father to walk away and leave his newborn infant.   Can they accept him back into the fold and welcome him home?  Wooly is hoping and praying that they can do just that.   How will Maren fit into the plan?  She has been helping his mother-in-law and daughter on the farm and now he displaces her with his return, but she may be more than happy about the new arrangement.  Read to find out these questions and more.  This is a five-star novella.

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 captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own? 
MY REVIEW of Book Two, Bending Toward the Sun:  "'You're upset that I was speaking to an Irishman?' PaPa looked everywhere but at her.  'The McFarlands run freight wagons to and from the docks.  They're teamsters.  They're Irish.'"   Dear Emilie wants a family of her own and she also desires nothing more than to care for her dear widowed father.  He wants an entirely different life for her and he certainly does not want her courting an Irishman.  Prejudice rears its ugly head in book two, but can God soften the heart of a loving father or is it hopeless for Emilie?   Grab the tissue box and a comfy chair to read this novella to see what transpires.  5 Stars *****

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 a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?
MY REVIEW of Book Three, Ripples Along the Shore:  "The woman's nervous giggle tensed Caroline's shoulders.  No one could take Phillip's place in her heart.  'I'm not seeking a replacement for my husband.'  'Perhaps you should, dear.'"   The Civil War split families apart and left many without husbands, sons, fathers, brothers, and unfortunately Caroline turns out to be one left without a husband.   Heading west from Missouri would add even more challenge and likely hardship to Caroline's life but it would give her a fresh start.   A different sort of prejudice is experienced in the third book.   Caroline turns to God and the church for her answers.  Could her enemy, one who may have even killed her husband, be the one to lead her on the greatest adventure of her life?   If you want an exciting, fast-paced historical romance, then this is a wonderful choice.   5 Stars again!!!   
This omnibus is top-notch and left me wanting to keep on reading and just leave the world behind me.   
I received a free copy of this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Mona Hodgson


MONA HODGSON writes historical romance fiction set in American history and peopled with ensemble casts. Mona is the author of Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and Twice a Bride in THE SINCLAIR SISTERS OF CRIPPLE CREEK SERIES and THE QUILTED HEART Novellas--Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along te Shore, and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the HEARTS SEEKING HOME SERIES--all published with WaterBrook Multnomah--Penguin Random Publishing. Her writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books, contributions to eleven books for adults, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in newspapers and magazines. One of Mona’s favorite things to do (besides writing or eating dark chocolate) is to speak at women's retreats and schools, and for women’s groups, librarians, and at writers’ conferences. Mona from Arizona lives with her hubby, Bob. Check out www.monahodgson.com to learn more. You can also follow Mona on her blog and at http://www.facebook.com/author.mona.

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