Wow, I really really enjoyed this book! I knew I'd like it_just didn't know I'd like it this much. It was even better than Key on the Quilt, which I loved! The heroine, Emilie, was feisty, funny, fascinating and to be honest - so much fun! Besides which, she shares a name with a great-grandma of mine (who pronounced it Amelia - yes, really). And then the hero, Noah - also a pretty neat guy, with a very interesting background. The book had all the things needed to make a "good" book, and was actually super sweet. I look forward to re-reading it many times in the future!
**Barbour sent me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. I wasn't paid for this review, and wasn't required to post positively.**
Emilie Rhodes is eighteen, the daughter of a newspaper owner, and wants to be a journalist against the wishes of her parents. She plans a series of articles around the annual Chautauqua in her home town of Beatrice, Nebraskaâ€”when she is not accompanying her three cousins, the singing Spring Sisters (a Chautauqua is a musical, cultural and educational festival).
Noah Shaw was orphaned at thirteen, but despite his disadvantaged childhood has managed to create a successful career as an actor, performing at events around the country. He meets and is immediately attracted to Emilie, but a chance discovery about his parents might mean the end of the relationship.
There are a variety of supporting characters to add depth and interest to the plot, but not so many as to become confusing, and I liked all the characters. The plot was interesting and it was evident that the Chautauqua and the emerging women's rights movement had been well-researched, but not so much that this intruded on the story. I like my historical fiction to be historically accurate, so this was a big plus.
I also liked the way the characters interacted, particularly Emilie and Noah. Their attraction was immediate, and believable. It is a whirlwind romance, but it rang true as they both had a shared Christian faith and common interests in the arts, with Emilie's journalism and piano-playing, and Noah's acting and reciting. Most importantly, I could feel the attraction in the writing, which is no small achievement.
I have enjoyed all the books in this series, but I think this was my favourite, partly because I could relate to Emilie trying to find her way to use her God-given talents in a male-dominated field. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, and they can be read in any order, as the common theme is a quilt, not characters or specific location. Recommended.
Thanks to Barbour and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Thanks to NetGalley, I just finished The Message on the Quilt, book 3 in Stephanie's Quilt Chronicles (by the way, I've read book 1, The Key on the Quilt, but haven't had a chance to read book 2, The Shadow on the Quilt, that's sitting on my shelf - and that's ok. The books aren't related - except for quilts and Nebraska - so, note to you: they don't need to be read in order)!
I've read almost all of Stephanie's historical novels, and I can't think of one that I didn't like! She has an easy-to-read style and is gifted at seamlessly weaving spiritual applications through her stories.
The Message on the Quilt tells the story of Emilie and Noah. Emilie is the daughter of a newspaperman, and she has a deep desire to write. And, not new to many storylines like that, Dad and Mom allow her a small, unimportant column, but when Emilie wants more, they don't think it's proper for a lady of her social standing and the expected confrontation arises.
Noah arrives in town to speak at a conference type thing (with another agenda to find more out about his parents) and meets Emilie under unusual circumstances.
Usually, characters fall in love despite their known differences and then struggle to overcome them. I loved that Noah and Emilie's twist didn't occur until after they were 'in love,' causing another whole set of problems. Their 'twist' was also unusual in its seriousness and social prejudice, and I was very surprised at Mr. Rhodes' eventual response.
Stephanie is great at tying several stories into one, and her characters are always so believable and memorable, even down to 'Phil' the horse! The Spring sisters - oh my! It took me awhile to notice their names: April, May, June! ;-) Fun friends, loyal family! And, Madame Jumeaux's story is also good - I think her and her brother's past and future could be a book! I loved Ladora - she's the discerning older woman who always has just the right words of wisdom to give to those around her.
The Message on the Quilt was a great story! If you haven't read anything by Stephanie yet, here's a great place to start!
*I received a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*