Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Maybelle In Stitches - by Joyce Magnin - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maybelle In Stitches
Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
Joyce Magnin


A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.


Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

My Thoughts:
No. You keep doing what you’ve been doing.  That’s all any of us can do.  You keep doing what you’ve been doing until you hear otherwise.” (p.74)

From the moment Doris utter these words to Maybelle until Maybelle answers her with the words:

Hope is why we’re calling the quilt that, remember?  It’s all we got.  And maybe hope means different things for different people.”  (p. 178)

Many, many things have taken place to create a realistic picture of what the lives of many women consisted of during WWII.  The reader is taken back to the 1940’s when letters and telegrams made the slow trek back and forth across the ocean.  Sometimes the news was good.  Other times the news was devastating.  Sometimes the news couldn’t be contained in written words.  All of these experiences are made accessible to the reader through the very well-written tale, Maybelle In Stitches, penned by Joyce Magnin. 

This installment in the quilts of love series is packed with well-developed characters, poignant story lines, emotionally powerful situations  - all sewn together with the threads of hope that keep this strong generation going forward amid some very daunting circumstances.  WWII stories have always been some of my favorite, and Maybelle In Stitches was a very satisfying addition to that group of tales!!  I was drawn into the story from the first pages and my interest never waned.  As a matter of fact, there were moments it seemed I couldn’t read fast enough!

I grew to genuinely care for all of the characters, and the friendship between Maybelle and Doris reminded me of my lifelong best friend.  Theirs is a solid and faithful friendship that gives them strength to weather the trials unique to wartime.  I highly recommend Maybelle  In Stitches to everyone!  This is a very well-written, satisfying story on many levels!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

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