The Quilted Heart is a collection of three novellas: Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun and Ripples Along the Shore. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the full-length novel, Prairie Song, last year, I was really excited to read these three introductory stories. I was not left disappointed. These three smaller stories are a great lead-in to the larger book.
In Dandelions on the Wind, my very favorite story of the three, Maren Jensen has a choice to make. She has failing eyesight and things have not worked out here in America as she had originally hoped when she sailed from Denmark four years earlier. She learns to trust that God’s plans are not always the plans that we have for ourselves. I also enjoyed the beautiful story of reconciliation, when Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright returns after leaving suddenly four years earlier, besieged by grief.
In Bending Toward the Sun, Emilie Heinrich and Quaid Macfarland renew an old friendship and love begins to bloom. But Emilie’s father has other plans for her and is not in favor of a courtship. Is it possible for Emilie and Quaid to ever find happiness together while still honoring her father’s wishes? This book deals with prejudice and asks the question of how does God really see people. This novella ended before I expected it too, however, their story continued on in the next novella nicely.
In Ripples Along the Shore, we mainly follow the situation of Caroline Milburn, a war widow. She is facing tough choices about where her life is headed. She can stay in an uncomfortable situation with her sister’s family, try to make a life on her own in town, or attempt to join a wagon train that will be leaving in a few months. Garrett Cowlishaw complicates things for Caroline when he forbids her to join. But she is determined to find a way to go. This was a very good story that flows very well into the larger novel Prairie Song. This novella comes to an end without complete resolution for Caroline, as well as for Anna, another character who we follow in this book. This type of ending would not have set well with me if I did not already have knowledge of how things end up working out in the full-length novel, Prairie Song. My advice to readers of this collection is to have a copy of Prairie Song nearby because it will be a must read at the end of Ripples Along the Shore.
All of these novellas were written so beautifully. They just drew me in and kept me reading. The characters dealt with big issues and all three novellas were tied together so nicely, with one story flowing into the next. I do have to say that I am glad to have a copy of Prairie Song, because I had to pick it up again as soon as I finished reading this novella collection and read more about Caroline and Anna’s stories. I very much enjoyed this collection. (5 stars)
I received a complimentary copy of The Quilted Heart from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Married forty-one years to her leading man, Mona from Arizona lives in the Southwest where trees have arms instead of branches and salsa is a staple. When Mona Hodgson isn’t writing or speaking, she’s playing Wii games with her Arizona grandson, spending time with her mom, picnicking, texting her sisters, or chatting on Skype with her grandchildren in Africa.
Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels for adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and upcoming Hearts Seeking Home Series. Her children’s books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, and her six I Wonder books.
Mona’s writing credits also include several hundred articles, poems and short stories, which have appeared in 50 different publications. Mona is a speaker for women’s groups, Christian women’s retreats, book clubs and reading groups, schools, and conferences for writers and librarians.
You can connect with Mona at http://monahodgson.com/ as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.