By Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven
Quilts of Love
Abingdon Press, 2014
Sara doesn't think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don't always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past---and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane's grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer's granddaughter.
Still, it doesn't take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn't what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life---and her heart---forever.
Love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings - The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. I have enjoyed several books from this collection, and Swept Away is another solid read.
I'm always amazed at how each story in this series brings a fresh perspective and is quite unique. Set in West Virginia, Swept Away incorporates themes such as broom making, the Appalachian Trail, and a ballad quilt. I enjoyed the characters of Sarah Jane, Drew, and Sarah Jane's grandmother, Sari, as well as the relationships formed between them. There's also a serious side with its focus on the loss of loved ones and Alzheimer's, which made this story all the more touching.
Sarah Jane and Drew seemed unlikely candidates for romance in the beginning . . . Drew was a free spirit, used to working at his own pace, while Sarah Jane thrived on organization; Drew had a strong faith, while Sarah Jane "wouldn't pay homage to some God who was either too small or too uninterested." It was certainly enjoyable to see them get past their initial snap judgment of each other, and I loved the way Sarah Jane was able to look beyond Drew's "John the Baptist" appearance and get to know the real person. Sarah Jane was a little too forward for my tastes at times, but that's just me. It did make for good romantic tension, though!
Two strong elements really spoke to me . . . First was the patience and caring that both Drew and Sarah Jane exhibited with Sari, because I'm not sure I would have had that much. And secondly, the creative way this story presents the gospel message. It was interesting to see how Drew wove his testimony into the colored braiding of his "witnessing brooms."
Maybe the stories in this series are limited to a certain length, but having a few things explored more deeply would have made this a much richer read - like Sari and Caleb's story, the deaths of Sara's parents and Drew's twin, etc. Also, I thought the weakest part was the last few pages, as a lot seemed to happen without much detail. And the surprisingly abrupt ending really left me longing for another page or two. Still a good read overall. Recommended.
Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.
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Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.