The Quilted Heart
The Quilted Heart is three novellas in one book, each telling the story of a different woman who is part of a St. Charles, Missouri, quilting circle. Each is affected in her own way by the Civil War. Maren Jensen, a mail-order bride from Denmark, was abandoned by her intended because of her failing eyesight, but the end of the war may mean a new chance at love. Emilie Heinrich has been too busy caring for her father and his dry goods store to think about marriage. But when the men return home, she catches the eye of a one who certainly doesn’t meet with papa’s approval. Strong-willed Caroline Milburn lost her husband in the war, something she’s only just had confirmed. A wagon train headed West sounds like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, but as she can’t ride alone, she must make an opportunity for herself, with or without the help of a man.
This was my first time reading inspirational fiction, and I was surprised to really enjoy this book. I was expecting the religious element to be overt, but instead found simple love stories of people with strong faith. I thought this book was heartwarming and a refreshing change of pace from the drama of many historical fiction books. I live not far from where the book takes place and have been to many of the places mentioned, so I can see how faithfully Hodgson recreated the setting. It was a joy to step back in time with her characters in this historic area and get a glimpse of the city’s early years.
I would recommend this book to anyone seeking a window into a slower-paced time where faith helps overcome every struggle and love heals all wounds.