Thursday, September 20, 2012

"The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club" Book Give-away!

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club (Review & Giveaway!)

Title: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Bethany's Source: Review Book
Madi's Source: Gift
Number Of Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-1-60260-811-5
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Publication Date: 2012
Bethany's Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars
Madi's Rating: 3 1/2 Out Of 5 Stars

Description (Taken From
Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot. But as their problems begin to bind them together like the scraps of fabric stitched together in a quilt, they learn to open up and lend a helping hand. Is this what God had in mind to heal hurting hearts and create beauty from fragments?


Bethany's Review:
This book had a nice balance of both Amish fiction and contemporary fiction. It is about a widow, Emma Yoder who loves to quilt and offers quilting classes in her home. But boy, does she get an interesting mix of people who attend her classes! :) This book was very good, and had some unexpected twists I didn't see coming! Though I knew what to expect from the book's description, there were certain parts I didn't anticipate and love them! The ending was probably my favorite part of the book as it was very interesting and kept my attention well, though the rest of the book was good too. The character that surprised me most, would probably be Jan Sweet. Don't let his name fool you though! When I read his name and put it together with the books cover image of a rough and tough biker dude with tattoos and an obviously difficult past, it intrigued me! I was even more surprised to read the rest of his story in the book and think it added a nice touch to the story and helped me see the importance of not judging a book by it's cover! Emma, well she was probably another of my favorite characters. She is just such a sweetie, someone everyone wants for a grandma, whom I loved! She had such a sweet heart for the Lord and was always seeking to help others!

One thing I liked in this story is how Emma and her class full of "half-stitched quilters" became like a close family. I loved seeing their relationships grow and how they were able to help and encourage each other in the Lord, while learning to sew. At the beginning of the book every character found themselves in a difficult place in life, and I enjoyed seeing how that played out and what happened in the end. The story had a lot of nice twists that you normally wouldn't see coming, and I really enjoyed it. 

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it for those who like both contemporary and Amish fiction with a nice, cozy-feeling that appeals to both old and young alike.

NOTE: I received a copy The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, free of charge, courtesy of Barbour Publishers and Wanda Brunstetter, for the purpose of reviewing it. All thoughts are my own and 100 percent true. I was not paid to do this review, and the fact that I got a free book did not effect my opinion of the book.
Madi's Review:
This book was . . . interesting. I don't think that I have ever read anything like it. It mixes the lives of seven different people and intertwines them together. Which was interesting considering how different each person is from the other people in their quilting group. Here's a little something about the main characters:

Emma- An elderly Amish lady who is set on being independent. She starts a quilting class as  a way to make ends meet, but ends up growing extremely close to all of her pupils. She wants to teach them not only the art of quilting, but also teach them a few life lessons. She firmly believes that God put each of these people in her path for a purpose.

Beatrice "Star" Stephens- A girl who is trying to make her way in the music world, without any support from her mother. She likes to wear dark colors and the only person who ever loved and understood her had died a few months before. She knows that no one will ever care for her the way her grandmother did. Until she meets Miss Emma.

Pam and Stuart Johnston- A couple with some major issues in their marriage. Stuart likes being outdoors and watching sports, Pam is prissy and prefers a shopping trip any day. This couple finds kindred spirits in their fellow class mates, and with the help of The good Lord they get their marriage back on track.

Jan Sweet- Don't let his name fool you, this is one tough biker dude (tattoos and all!). But, after you get past his rough-around-the-edges exterior, you'll find that Jan is just an over sized teddy bear.

Ruby Lee Williams- An African/American preachers bride who signs up for the quilting class just to escape the problems at the church. Will this stress ever go away?

These people come together to learn to quilt, but end up being one messed up half-stitched family.

On to the Pros and Cons.

-God is no stranger to the pages of this novel.

-The characters are sweet people who make you wanna just pinch their cheeks.

-This book is a nice blend of Amish and Contemporary. I have often seen authors struggle to connect the two totally different worlds, and I'm impressed with how well Brunstetter did with it.

-The plot was interesting enough to keep me interested for most of the book. It definitely through a few curve balls that I didn't see coming.

The only con that I can think of was that:
-The book was just a tad bit slow going at first, but it quickly picked up.

My Overall Impression:
This book was definitely worth the time it took to read it. There wasn't a whole lot of suspense, but some people do like that in a book, so I'll leave it to you to determine whether or not that's a good thing. Despight the lack of suspense, it did have it's suprises. I give this book three and a half stars.

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