Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Emily T. Wierenga
Publisher: Abingdon Press
“I’m not sure how, but over the next few years, we can visit families who’ve been hurt by the war and share Gareth’s story with them and stitch their sons’ and grandsons’ names into the quilt. We’ll fill every inch of space and remember them all,” Clara explains in Emily T. Wierenga’s novel, A Promise in Pieces.
Part of the “Quilts of Love” series, this two hundred and eight page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian fiction regarding understanding God’s purpose throughout one’s life. With a minor slang word and no sexual or violent scenes, it would be appropriate for mature teenagers and adults. After the story, there are fifteen discussion questions and ten pages dedicated to another story in the series. This reader wishes all pronouns regarding God were capitalized for reverence.
In this tome that switches back and forth in time over fifty years, Clara ponders stages of her life as a single woman who enlisted in World War Two as a nurse, a wife of a kind-hearted man who deeply loved her, and a mother who cherished their adopted son and the two daughters she bore.
Taking a family road trip from Virginia to New Orleans to display a cherished quilt, three generations intersect when Clara is asked how she met her husband, Oliver. With the past written in first person, the elderly woman reflects how she joined the Army Nurses Corps against her preacher-father’s wishes. Disowned by her parents, she struggles with the tragedy of war, especially when she promises a soldier on his death bed that she will deliver a letter to his wife.
Returning to the States, not only does Clara give the note to the deceased man’s wife, she befriends her and is given a quilt that she adds names and sayings to for every woman she encounters who has lost their husband in the war and has to raise a baby alone.
As the years pass by, Clara questions how she can be significant to others in her life. Finding peace and solitude in giving comfort to those hurting and wounded emotionally, the aging woman learns to focus on God for direction, hope, and love.
Although short in length, Wierenga brings reality to her main character that yearns for answers throughout life in this debut novel. With its numerous family relatives, there could be plenty of sequels to this charming yarn.
Thanks to The Book Club Exchange Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.