Monday, March 3, 2014

The Quilted Hearts Omnibus by Mona Hodgson


Overview: Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?
Dandelions on the Wind

When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

Bending Toward the Sun

Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

Ripples Along the Shore

Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

My Review: These women touched my heart tremendously. I only wish this wasn't a collection of novellas! I would have loved to delve into each of their lives just a little bit more.

Dandelions on the Wind: Maren is a strong woman whose sight limitations do not limit her in life. Rutherford is a broken man coming home from the war to try to make amends. The main theme throughout the story is this: Grace cannot be earned, only given. The author does a good job of showing that theme throughout this story, as well as the book.

Bending Toward the Sun: This little novella touches on a tough subject for a short story - prejudice. Just as it exists in today's world, it existed after the war between states. Sometimes it takes a near tragic accident to overcome such obstacles and let the Lord guide your heart.

Ripples Along the Shore: This story touches closely to home for me. Caroline is a war widow, like me. Her emotions were very real to me and the author does an incredible job of portraying them. The main theme throughout this story is to humble yourself before the Lord so he can show you His plans.

Overall, this was a delightful collection of stories about being transformed. Just as these ladies learn from one another during their quilting circle, so we should learn: "A quilted heart is a transformed heart."

"Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." - James 4: 6-8

**Thank you Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**


  1. My thoughts exactly, Shannah! I've only read the first one - and while I enjoyed it, I wished it could have been a full-length novel because I wanted more story and depth. But for me to want more is a sign of good writing! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Shannah.

    1. Hi Carole,
      Have you read "Prairie Song" yet? It continues some of the character development, especially of Caroline and Anna. It was really good! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hi, Carole. Good to see you here. I really appreciate your interest in my books. You'll see more of Maren and her story in the subsequent novellas and in Prairie Song. Happy Reading and Blessings!

  2. Shannon, thank you so much for your thoughtful review of The Quilted Heart. What an honor that you endorsed my handling of Caroline's situation as a war widow. Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Mona,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review! I really appreciate it. Being a widow is indescribable, especially the first year after... not many authors can capture the depth of emotions and you did it very well!

  3. Thank you, Shannah. I appreciate you!