Stephanie Grace Whitson in her new book, "The Shadow on the Quilt" Book Two in The Quilt Chronicles published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. takes us to Nebraska in 1883.
From the back cover: Will past pain unravel the future?
Juliana Sutton has just about everything a woman could want. Her husband is riding a crest of success in the bustling capital city of Lincoln, and Juliana leads various philanthropic endeavors. Once finished, their new home, a spectacular mansion on five acres, will be the envy of all. Then a devastating scandal erupts_
Cass Gregory, the foreman overseeing the Sutton mansion construction, has spent recent years trying to untangle the disastrous results of his own past choices-and wishing he didn't know the truth about his boss. When scandal ignites, Cass longs to comfort Juliana but is convinced her position in society and his past make a relationship impossible.
Juliana and Cass are thrown together as completion of the mansion draws near, each one wounded and afraid to trust. Will the shadow of a name stand between them and true happiness?
Ever see a quilt from the bottom instead of the top? Of course from the top it is wonderful, all the pieces jointly fit together but underneath there is this jumble of thread and stitching that looks absolutely horrendous. Cass has a past that he has not gotten over yet. Juliana all of a sudden has to deal with trauma, loss and scandal. Getting these two together is a lot like making a quilt beautiful to see on the top but a mass of work on the bottom. It takes God to make a beautiful quilt out of our lives and Ms. Whitson has given us a wonderful story to show us how He does it. This is a wonderful, fun book. I think this is one of the hardest stories to write as it is all character driven and takes a steady hand to guide the characters through the story while remaining true to each character and these characters are memorable.
This is a story of the past and how we let it determine our present and future. All of us have a past and some of us let it limit and hinder our growth in our present which, of course, adversely affects our future. You come to love these characters as if they were alive (and they are within the pages of this book) and it is a thrill to watch them interact, grow and put aside their distrust, fear and the hurts of their pasts and find peace in their present. Many kudos to Ms. Whitson for a truly memorable book, I was sorry to see it end.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Juliana Sutton has just found out that Sterling, her husband of ten years, has been seeing another woman, and they have a child together. Worse, he manages to get himself killed in a fire in the local brothel before she can confront him. Juliana hides her newfound knowledge in order to protect Sterling's reputation in the eyes of his two aunts, who share her house.
With her grief at Sterling's death overtaken by her anger at his betrayal, Juliana defies bereavement customs and maintains her role in local society. Her widowhood brings her into contact with Cass Gregory, the foreman of her husband's construction company, currently engaged in building her new home. Juliana is initially suspicious of Cass as she recognises as being at the brothel on the night of the fire with one of the Ã¢â¬Ëladies. She eventually comes to trust him and finds solace in organising the completion of the building.
The Shadow on the Quilt is an interesting story with several strands to the plot, including the quilt that the aunts are sewing, the new house, the Gregory family, and the mother of Sterling's child. It is also the story of recovery in a time where there were strict expectations regarding the behaviour of those who were grieving, and the difficulty of conforming to those expectations - especially for someone who is more angry than grieving. The difference between heart and head observance (and attitude) was particularly well illustrated by the respective meetings with the two Christian ministers, one of whom displays a lot more Christian conduct than the other_
This is the second in a series, but each book is a stand-alone Christian historical romance, with the series based on a common theme of quilts. I really enjoyed it - it had likeable characters, a well-thought-out plot, and the Christian aspect was well-integrated without being preachy. And there was a nice romance, with plenty of tension but moving at an appropriate pace. Recommended.
Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
While I haven't poured over book 1 to see the connection, in reading book 2 I had a hard time seeing this as #2 in a series. It is a good story with good character development but readers may be disappointed with it as part of a series. Still a good read!
This series has been one of the best historical fictions I have read in many years. I can't wait for the next in the series, The Message on the Quilt. It is now on my list of books/authors to watch for next releases.
Juliana Sutton's life looks perfect-from the outside. Until her husband's untimely death reveals a devastating truth. . . . Cass Gregory is carrying his own dark secrets and feels unworthy to offer comfort to a woman of Juliana's standing. When circumstances force them together, both Juliana and Cass are wounded and afraid to trust. Will the shadow of her dead husband's name stand between Juliana and Cass, or will Juliana choose a love she never thought possible?
I really enjoyed this book. It was full of grief, struggle, pain and strife yet the author was able to infuse God's joy into every page. The characters learn to trust God, to see His plan, to except His friendship and to show His love through their circumstances.
The author created memorable characters and realistic situations that engaged you in the story from the very first page.
Julianna and Cass, the main characters of the story, are lovable and enjoyable. Even though they were the main characters, the author was able to allow the reader to fall in love with so many other characters as well.
The themes of forgiveness, redemption and love fill the pages of this book.
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review!