A FAMILY'S GIFT
When they were young, cousins Ella, Rachel and Jo were always together at their family's lake house. As they grew up, though, they grew apart…until now, as the three must band together to grant a beloved aunt's dying wish: to finish the quilt she began as a gift for her daughter's Christmas wedding.
Let It Snow by USA TODAY bestselling author Emilie Richards
Searching for vintage quilting fabric, independent Jo is reunited with the man she thought she'd marry—and proves that sometimes the second time's the charm….
You Better Watch Out by Janice Kay Johnson
Ella is desperate when the unfinished quilt goes missing in her care. But a cocky lawyer might just help her find it— and find love.
Nine Ladies Dancing by Sarah Mayberry Shy Rachel risks exposing her secret life when she falls for her quilting teacher's seemingly perfect son.
Together, Jo, Ella and Rachel create a Christmas heirloom that's both a wish and a promise—of happiness, hope and love everlasting.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Harlequin
Three Stars: A pleasant read that reminds you of the importance of family.
Ella, Jo and Rachel and Olivia grew up spending their summers at their family lake house with their grandmother. The four cousins whiled away the summer days soaking up sun, swimming in the lake, spying on cute boys and learning to sew and quilt. Unfortunately, time and distance caused the cousins to lose contact with one another. Now a woman's dying wish is to have the girls finish a project she started for her daughter's upcoming wedding. Ella, Jo and Rachel are called upon to complete a gorgeous heirloom quilt started by Olivia's mother before her death. As the three women construct the quilt and reconnect, they begin to heal and discover love again. Can they finish the quilt in time for the Christmas wedding?
What I Liked:
- I liked that this book presents three different stories by three authors. The stories are woven together by the threads of the quilt that each woman takes a turn stitching. All three stories combine and create a pleasant, cozy read appropriate for the holidays or anytime of the year.
- I enjoyed the focus on family, and I liked watching the girls reconnect and remember the ties that bound them together when they were younger. It is all too easy to grow up and move on from those childhood friends. The cousins have lost touch over the years due to some heartache, distance and life. The quilt brings them together. I love that something as simple as a sewing project helps the girls heal and move forward.
- The quilt was my favorite part of the book. I was fascinated by the intricate detail and the amount of time and work that went into it. Quilt making is an art and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about it.
- Each of the three stories presents a romance. In Let It Snow, Jo returns to the lake house right before Christmas in search of vintage fabrics for her portion of the quilt. Jo hasn't been back since her then fiancé, Brody, broke their engagement thirteen years ago. Jo is struggling with the demands of her job and in need of a break. What she doesn't expect is to find Brody still at the lake and unmarried. It seems their relationship was the victim of a lack of communication. Can a snow storm and a quilt help mend two lonely hearts? I liked that this romance was all about the two reconnecting and helping each other. It moves slow and steady, and there are some frustrating stumbles, mostly due to the fact that the two don't know how to talk things through, but it ends happily. The second story, You Better Watch Out, is a bit strange and it was my least favorite. The quilt is mailed from Jo to Ella in Seattle. It is now summer and Ella has just completed here portion of the quilt. She has it packed and ready to mail in her aging Subaru. Disaster strikes when her car is stolen with the quilt inside right in front of her eyes. An unlikely hero, Brett an up and coming lawyer, is coming off a bitter loss in court. When the attractive woman plows into him desperate for help, he jumps into action. The two follow the thief all across Seattle in hopes of recovering the quilt. Over time, Brett refuses to give up and he is determined to recover the quilt. As the days tick by and hope is dwindling, a new relationship is born. Both Brett and Ella have some serious issues to overcome before they can fully commit. Finally, the third story, Nine Ladies Dancing, which was my favorite, tells the tale of Rachel who is in Australia. Rachel desperately needs some help with the quilt as her skills are rusty. Luckily, she has a friend, Gabby, who can help. While at Gabby's house, Rachel comes face to face with the boy who once made her teenage years miserable. Leo, Gabby's son, is convalescing at his mother's house while he recovers from injuries he suffered on the job. Rachel absolutely detests Leo, but is surprised to discover that he has grown up and is far removed from the inconsiderate teenager who stole her self esteem. An unlikely and beautiful relationship is born. Finally at the end, a happy reunion is in store as Olivia prepares for her wedding and the homecoming of her fiancé. I really enjoyed seeing how all three stories came together to form the complete tale.
- I appreciated that each story had a resolution and a happy ending and that all three stories blended into a satisfying read. This was a simple, uplifting book that is sure to please those looking for something cozy and pleasant for the holiday.
And The Not So Much:
- This is labeled as a Christmas book, but it is a bit misleading as only the first story has a Christmas feel. Jo and Brody's story occurs during the Christmas period and it has plenty of snow, snuggling and kisses that are perfect for the holiday theme. However, the two subsequent stories have nothing to do with Christmas. Ella's story occurs in the summer, and Rachel's is in the fall, but since it is in Australia it is spring. I was disappointed that there wasn't more Christmas cheer.
- I struggled with the second romance. I think because the characters are emotionally stunted and they have some major issues. Ella is especially hard to like because she continues to push everyone away, granted she has a reason, but it is difficult to like her. The romance is a bit of a hard sell as well since it moves fast and then stutters.
- I loved the quilt and I wished that there was more discussion on how the quilt was made and all the details around quilt making. The first two stories have scant snippets on the quilt, especially the second story as it is more focused on recovering the stolen quilt. The third story does a much better job of presenting quilt making. Since the quilt is what binds all three stories together, I wanted just a bit more on it.
- Finally, I was extremely disappointed in the ending. Just as everything is in place to come together, the quilt is packed up and ready to go to the lake house where the four cousins are to convene, the book abruptly ends before the reunion happens. I would have loved to see the cousins get together and experience the final stitches that went into the quilt, and perhaps get a peek at the wedding. It is a frustrating end because it feels like it stops right at the climax. It does end on a high note, but I wanted more.
The Christmas Wedding Quilt is a pleasant, simple read that brings together three women and three stories centered around the making of an heirloom quilt. I enjoyed the romances and healing and learning about quilt making. I wished that there was more holiday cheer and an extension on the ending. This is a book would make a nice read for the holiday, but it is also good for anytime of the year.
"She couldn't dig up the past, at least not in giant shovelfuls. She had to inch into it, a thimbleful at a time. If she cared enough."
"Because the only way she knew how to defang the monsters under the bed was to shine a bright light on them."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.