A Patchwork Past by Leslie Gould
Plain Patterns #2
When wild child Sophie Deiner--the daughter of an Amish bishop--is forced to return to Nappanee, Indiana, quilt-shop owner Jane Berger is one of only a few who welcome her back. It's the last place she wants to be, but Sophie's recent illness requires that she recover for a while.
As Sophie heals, she befriends a group of migrant workers and is appalled to learn of the wretched living conditions they're forced to endure. Sophie begins advocating on their behalf, but soon finds herself opposed by an ex-boyfriend who is the farm foreman.
Jane begins relating the story of an Amish couple who rescued survivors of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many of whom were Irish immigrants. And Sophie is more convinced than ever that she needs to fight for the powerless. But when digging deeper makes conditions even worse, has she chosen a fight she can't win?
This is a split time line story. We have the famous fires of Chicago in 1871, and we have a current time line. I have to pause here, and interject, that this book has a super neat texture to the cover, that just makes it also a tactile experience when you touch the cover reading, sort of like it's its own quilt piece.
As a second book in the series, it stood alone just fine. You do not have to read the first book for this one to be good.
Sophie's illness is something I understand and connect to in the area of dealing with things out of the ordinary that are "invisible" to outside eyes. Her fight to help, warmed my heart. What all she learned along the way is what just makes this book amazing. Between the past and the present, illness and immigration, the Amish she left and her struggle when she returns, are all worked into a faith based message of love, forgiveness, and not judging others too quickly.
The author did use a very wide and forgiving tone with all immigration, which, does come off as political and not quite what I excepted. If you keep it in the light of the times, in the 1800's this was a huge part of our country's foundation. However, a good bit of that was pulled into the current time frame, in Sophie's fighting for justice for others that just left me confused and frustrated as to the impact or impression it left. So for that, I subtracted one star.
About the Author:
Leslie Gould is the #1 bestselling and Christy Award-winning author of thirty novels. She received her MFA from Portland State University and teaches writing at Warner Pacific University. Leslie enjoys traveling, hiking, and history. She and her husband, Peter, are the revolving-door parents of four children and two cats. Visit her at http://www.lesliegould.com