This review is part of the Quilts of Love blog tour. To see what others are saying, click here.
A Promise in Pieces
Emily T Wierenga
Every book in the Quilts of Love series includes a quilt in one way or another, but A Promise in Pieces is pieced together much like a quilt itself. While stitching the past together with the present, Emily Wierenga shares the inspiring story of Clara Kirkpatrick, a former nurse in the Women’s Army Corp during WWII. At the end of the war, Clara sets out to make good on a promise she made to a dying soldier – conveying his love to his wife, Mattie. Upon their meeting Mattie gives Clara a baby quilt, one that she knows she will no longer have any need of, and Clara promises to use it to honor Mattie’s sacrifice.
When she returns to her hometown Clara takes on a job as a labor and delivery nurse and finds a beautiful way to honor that sacrifice. She swaddles each baby she delivers in the quilt and later, stitches their name and an inspiring word about them onto it. Later she honors the sacrifice even further when she and Mattie start a foundation for families of soldiers KIA, selecting a number a families each year to visit and then add their loved one’s name to the quilt.
The story of Clara’s past is woven in with the present, she and her entire family are on their way to donate the quilt to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Clara’s grandson begs to hear more of her story and that of the quilt, she obliges and gets lost in the retelling. It makes the long drive much more enjoyable and memorable. Just when the family is almost to New Orleans, tragedy strikes and they wonder if they’ll make it in time to get the quilt donated.
The way the past and the present are intertwined in this book is awesome, it was easy to picture a grandmother losing herself in telling her story to her grandson. It was just as easy to picture a grandson so wrapped up and inspired by the story that he stops at nothing to make his grandmother’s dream a reality. Even though the part of the story that is in the present only takes place in the car, the author does a great job of engaging the reader, mainly by how the characters relate to one another. The part of the novel that takes place in the past is a beautiful story of honor and respect – one that kept me turning pages well past my bedtime after finding myself completely lost in Clara’s story.
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