1. A Patchwork Past #2
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    Leslie Gould
    Bethany House / 2021 / Trade Paperback
    Our Price$10.99 Retail Price$15.99 Save 31% ($5.00)
    4 out of 5 stars for A Patchwork Past #2. View reviews of this product. 14 Reviews
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  1. Sassy Bookish Mama
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting Amish Time Split
    May 14, 2021
    Sassy Bookish Mama
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    A Patchwork Past is the second book in the Plain Patterns series. I have not read the first one and I had no problem following this one so definitely can be read as a stand alone. When this book came up for review I jumped at the chance just because I really enjoy Amish stories. It is the genre that started me reading Christian Fiction so I have a soft spot for it and although I tend to stick to my favorite Amish writers I do like to try new ones. This was my first by this author and her writing is very good even though this was not my favorite I thought parts of the storyline were quite unique and interesting.

    In this story we meet Sophie Deiner who has left the Amish community but returns as she is battling Lupus and needs some much needed help to rest and recoup. Her relationship with her parents, especially with her mom is quite broken. I felt bad for Sophie as it felt like her parents really don't believe that she is sick. While there she helps out Jane who is kind to her and while there Jane tells her the story of Mary, a woman who traveled with her father to Chicago and ends up in the middle of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. The story now goes back and forth between timelines and they somewhat correlates to what is happening in the Amish community as Jane befriends a family of immigrants and tries to fight for their social justice.

    You can tell that the author has done a very good job in her research for the Chicago Fire and the Amish community. It is obvious she has a gift for writing Amish stories. This is definitely not your typical Amish story of marriage or hope of marriage. It's the story of Sophie finding herself and what God's calling for her life is.

    My personal thoughts on some of the storyline is that it felt a bit too political. The issue of immigration is such a huge hot topic that it wasn't something I was expecting from a book and honestly it's not something that I would have picked up had I known it was going to be such a dominant part of the story. I read stories to escape the realities of the world. That's just me. When I read fiction I don't want to step into the news world or any political aspects of it I just want to delve into a different world and get lost in the story. I read non-fiction for a reason. To learn and educate myself in such topics but when it comes to fiction stories its an escape, a vacation if you will from the busyness of the day.

    Overall it was a good story and if you like reading fiction that are based on current events then this may be the book for you. Again I thought the author did a phenomenal job in her writing I just wasn't keen in the topic mixed with my fiction.

    I received this book from the publisher Bethany House. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
  2. MaryAnn
    OR
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Powerful drama
    May 11, 2021
    MaryAnn
    OR
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Sophie Deiner has lupus, and she's uncertain whether she should return to her parents' home for some needed rest or stay in the city and tough it out. Her illness wins that battle and drives her home to a mother she's not certain wants her around. Her physical recovery, as well as her emotional and spiritual ones, are aided by her time back with her former Amish community, but she also faces some challenges. Painful secrets from the past haunt her as does her old boyfriend. In addition to these tensions, some of the immigrants she befriends face crises, which she is drawn into also. Plus, there's a compelling story from her ancestors woven in about what happened during the Great Chicago Fire. Lessons Sophie learns from the distant past and the problem-filled present help guide her future. I enjoyed this standalone novel with its realistic characters and situations, and I found the views on immigrants eye-opening as the book helped me see things more from their perspective. I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
  3. Creative2xmom
    California
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Great tie in with historical fiction
    April 26, 2021
    Creative2xmom
    California
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Sophie Deiner left the Amish lifestyle, carrying a heavy secret with her. But as her health declines, she's forced to return home. Once there, she struggles to reconnect with family and finds friendship with the local migrant community.

    Shop owner, Jane, also welcomes Sophie home and tells her the story of an Amish relative who was in the Great Chicago Fire. Through the story, Sophie learns her relative was heavily invested in helping immigrants rebuild after the fire. Which leads Sophie to wonder.... how can she help in her own community?

    I haven't read a lot of Leslie Gould's novels prior to this one. Maybe one or two. So the author is still relatively new to me. But I have read a lot of Amish fiction. And while this title had many of those same elements, the book was quite different from anything I've read. The flashback elements of the story were an added bonus, although I didn't identify with those characters as much as the characters of Sophie's timeline. But the added benefit of some historical fiction kept me interested. And both stories are tied together with a focus on immigration, historically and in our current world. Differing from most Amish fiction, Sophie's dilemma is a question of who she will be as she navigates between the English and Amish worlds.

    Although A Patchwork Past is part of a series, it does work well as a stand alone title. It wasn't my favorite title in this genre, but it did challenge me and kept me engaged throughout the book. I would be interested to see what else happens in this series.

    *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
  4. tickmenot
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Politics....
    April 26, 2021
    tickmenot
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Sophie left the Amish community three years ago because of a love affair gone bad, and the sting of her parents blaming her for everything that went wrong. Now suffering with an autoimmune disease, she has to swallow her pride, return home, and ask her parents if she can stay with them. As a result of her leaving, a lot of mean gossip occurred that most of the community, including her parents, believed. She must face that as well.

    Sophie befriends an immigrant family that came here to seek refuge from certain death in their native land. Their oldest son, a dreamer who was not born here, has been put in jail. Believing the charges are untrue, Sophie works tirelessly with his family to get him released. She also strives to convince everyone that all foreign people that come here will be a boon to the community. It is only prejudice, and nothing more, that causes fear of them.

    A concurrent story is that of Mary, an Amish woman, who finds herself in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Her heart goes out to all the suffering afterward, and she tries to help. She faces evil people, prejudice toward immigrants, and the lack of community help--at first.

    In the past, I have loved this author and her books. However, I wasn't expecting a story that is used as a vehicle for a current political hot potato. In today's climate, a book that is an escape from all the turmoil and political unrest is highly valued. Unfortunately, this tale does not do that, making this a 3-star story.

    Bethany House provided Tickmenot with a book copy for review, opinions are my own.
  5. vickie
    michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Good Reminder to Make Sure to Love All People!
    April 19, 2021
    vickie
    michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Patchwork Past is packed full from the beginning to the end, with suspense, history, romance, dating abuse, illness, faithfullness, misunderstandings, and family bonding. As you might imagine, I never once put it down from beginning to end!

    I loved that Jane was back in this series, telling a heartfelt but very sad story about the Chicago fire. The story coincides with a family that Sophie is helping with our new immigration problems. I'm amazed how that we've just switched prejudices over the years to different nationalities and it was a good reminder to make sure to love all people.

    What a great great read. This is one that will leave an impact on your heart and mind.

    I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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