The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (320 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe
Amish widow Emma Yoder’s first quilt class brings the most unlikely people together. there’s Star, a young woman yearning for stability; Pan and Stuart Johnston, a struggling couple at odds in their marriage; Paul Ramirez, a young widower hoping to find solace in finishing a quilt; Jan Sweet, a rough and tough biker doing some creative community service; and Ruby Lee Williams, a preacher’s wife looking for relaxation when parish problems mount. But as these beginning quilters learn to transform scraps of material into beauty; their fragmented lives begin to take new shape with the helping hands of each other and the healing hand of God.
Emma Yoder is a widow and while her family is willing to care for her and take care of expenses, she wants her own income. She’d also like to have a little company. She decides to hold a quilting class; Amish people are famous for their quilt work. Surely someone would pay to come to learn the skill from her, wouldn’t they? Yes, they would. But she had no idea who they would be…
Ms. Brunstetter has written over 45 books about Amish life, and most are romances. I’ve read a few and was happy to see she had another one out. I quilt a bit and thought the combination of Amish, Englishers, and quilting would be entertaining; it was.
Emma’s daughter is flabbergasted by the group that shows up for class. When she asks Emma if she’s serious about teaching the class, Emma digs in and says yes. When she meets her class, she has a second thought over the wisdom of doing it. She has a young Goth girl, a single man 7with a baby, a biker, a black preacher’s wife and a bickering couple in the room. She perseveres and tells them what supplies they need and how to prepare for the next class.
These folks all have a problem of some kind. Emma can sense that and it doesn’t take long before she’s trying to help them. She offers simple, common sense advice. She doesn’t care what religion they have or if they don’t, but she offers a few Christian references for reassurance. The women in my family could always tell if something was bothering you and they “fixed it”, too. In this case, Emma suggests and they must decide if they wish to take the action to make their life better.
While she’s teaching class and the classmates are working on their personal problems, Emma suddenly has a man trying to date her. I really enjoyed how she escorts him out of the house, doesn’t invite him in, and tries to ignore him. He’s persistent and when she gets ill, he takes over her class. Discovering he has created his own quilting designs makes her wonder what else she doesn’t know about him.
This is slow paced story with a description of several lives, almost soap opera-like. It’s sweet, things work out for everyone, and Emma gets a new husband. The most ironic connection involves the biker and that was most believable because it was so unexpected. The other solutions were almost too easy but his was the kicker in the story.
I enjoyed Ms. Brunstetter’s story and it will be a good choice for anyone who likes Amish, quilting, or life stories. Why not give it a try?