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A Tapestry of Secrets #3, in the Appalachian Blessings series, by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Watching her granddaughter struggle for perfection, Perla Phillips decides to tell her a secret she's kept for 60 years. She wants to show Ella that God can use even our mistakes for good. But before Perla can talk about that long ago summer, she suffers a debilitating stroke! Will the truth be locked inside of her forever?
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Appalachian Blessings
Now in her eighties, Perla Phillips has carried a secret since she was eighteen years old. When she sees her granddaughter, Ella, struggling for perfection, she decides to share her secret to show that God can use even the biggest mistakes for good. But before she can reveal what happened during that summer sixty years ago, she has a debilitating stroke.
Carrying a secret of her own, Ella arrives back in Wise, West Virgina, to help her aunt Sadie care for Perla. Both know the woman wanted to tell them something, but she's now locked in silence. Together they begin looking into the past, but they may learn more than they expected.
Will they have the courage to share their hearts? Or will the truth remain buried forever?
ShannahAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Sweet, Soul Stirring StoryOctober 31, 2016ShannahAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I have loved every book in the Appalachian Blessings series, so far. They are poignant stories that reach down deep and touch your heart. While A Tapestry of Secrets took me longer to really get into than the other stories, I ended up loving it just as much!
I enjoyed catching up with Perla, Sadie, and the rest of the family. Perla plays a big part in Ellas story, though she is silent through most of it. Ella is a wonderful character. I felt such a connection to her struggle to accept herself as worthy, beautiful, and forgiven. At the point in the story where she had three beaus, I had already chosen who I wanted her go for. Seth provided a strong, silent support for Ella, following Gods prompting in his relationship with her.
Sadies quest for her biological father provided a nice side story, and added to the importance of the message. Sometimes, in order to embrace what God has for your life, you have to let go of the past. Ella, Sadie, and Perla all struggle with this throughout the book. The verse that kind of brings home the point to me is found in Acts chapter 2: Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off for all whom the Lord our God will call.
Overall, while it took me several chapters to get hooked to this story, I was caught well and good once it happened. I recommend this sweet, soul stirring story.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*
Jen PenMidwest4 Stars Out Of 5Talented author...October 6, 2016Jen PenMidwestQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3SUMMARY:
Receiving news that her grandmother was in the hospital, Ella hurries back home. Though home is where the heart is, not everything is as Ella had hoped. With a broken relationship, a new developer in town and a strained family affair, home is full of conflicts. Seeing her granddaughter struggle while she takes care of her, Ellas grandmother, Perla Phillips, decides it may be time to share the secret she has hidden from her family for years. Through flashbacks of her past and present, Perla shares news that may disrupt the family unit
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Apparently part of a series of books of which I did not previously read, I found myself missing some of the back character information. Even though, I was able to follow the storyline without necessarily needing it except to have it be a bit more connecting. With a back and forth style that worked quite well, A Tapestry of Secrets moved slowly yet effectively and warmly. Liking this book enough to read the previous stories, author Sarah Loudin Thomas is a talented author.
4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of A Tapestry of Secrets from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*
Kav5 Stars Out Of 5Sweet perfectionSeptember 29, 2016KavQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 0I've loved each of the books in the Appalachian Blessings series even though they have turned my heart inside out. Thomas knows how to portray a multi-generational family with real insight. You don't need to have read the first two books to enjoy this one but if you have you will sink deeper into the thrill of the story.
And this is an interesting series since it tells the story of Perla in three different decades. First as a young woman with an exceptional gift who catches the eye of a Casewell Phillips (Miracle in a Dry Season), then as a mature mother of a difficult adult son (Until the Harvest) and finally as a grandmother in A Tapestry of Seasons.
But this isn't just Perla's story. We get her granddaughter, Ella's point of view as well. It's a delightful mix of past and present, artfully told with flashbacks into Perla's youth.
I loved Ella -- could so relate to her fear of change. She's steeped in mountain tradition and wants everything to stay the same. Of course it can't and though she's in her late twenties, this reads like a coming of age story as Ella struggles to find her place...and a future. Which might just include one of two young men playing court to her.
And as in each of the other books, A Tapestry of Secrets is ripe with faith truths that have me assessing my own thoughts and actions. I do so love a novel that challenges me.
Sweet perfection in 294 pages.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Promising but slowSeptember 23, 2016IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1When Ella's grandmother has a stroke and needs in-home care, quilt artist Ella is happy to volunteer both to help Gran, and to escape Mark, her ethically-challenged overbearing ex-fiance. Here she spends time with her parents, and with Aunt Sadie, who never married.
The story is told in two points of view, in two separate timelines. The present timeline is mostly Ella's story, with some scenes from Gran, Perla. But the stroke has affected Perla's ability to speak, which means she can't share the big secret in her life: the identity of Sadie's father. The past story is Perla's story from the summer she met Sadie's father and the events leading up to her conception. This is interesting because it gives momentum to the present story, but it was the present story, Ella's story, which engaged me more.
Ella's family live in a small town where their history goes back several generations, which gives the novel a sense of place which fascinates me (a first-generation immigrant to New Zealand). Ella places a lot of importance on the past, on past traditions--perhaps too much, perhaps to the point where she worships tradition over God. There were some great pearls of wisdom around this, especially around our plans vs. Gods plans.
I thought the first half of A Tapestry of Secrets was excellent. Great characters, great writing, and lots of fascinating questions (although this is part of a series called Appalachian Blessings, and I got no sense of place. It could have been set in any small town in America). But I thought the second half lost its way. It felt slower, almost as though it was going around in circles and not getting anywhere. The end finally came and was good, but I got frustrated by the whole Mark subplot (if he was such a slimeball, why did she not tell her parents? There was no reason for keeping that a secret).
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
tmurrellTNAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Beautifully writtenSeptember 19, 2016tmurrellTNAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Perla has hidden a secret for most of her life, the identity of her daughter's father. But before she can reveal that secret she suffers a stroke. When her granddaughter, Ella, moves back to help take care of her grandmother and get away from a bad relationship. The story switches voices and time periods as it tells the story of the two women and weaves the tapestry of their secrets.
I've enjoyed all of the books by this author. This book has been my favorite. The rich history, strong family, faith filled message, and sweet romance all blend together to create a beautiful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. The author creates such be vivid word pictures that I was drawn into the plot and felt like I was there. This is truly an inspirational story with faith playing a very strong part in each person's life. Definitely a book I would recommend if you enjoy historical fiction, clean romance, and a strong sense of faith and family.
I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.