"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" ~ Julia Child
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Tattered Quilt


This book follows The Half Stitched Quilt Club. I loved it and was not sure how Wanda E. Brunstetter would be able to follow up that amusing story. The story continues following yet another of Emma's quilt classes. These six students are once again so different from each other and most unimaginable as beginning quilters. Some have come to Emma's class through connections to those in her previous class. There is Jan's bossy busybody neighbor Selma, Carmen who is Paul's sister-in-law coming as a reporter to get a story on the Amish, Terry who works with Jan as a roofer, Blaine who is Stan's fishing buddy, Anna who is a young Amish girl who was signed up by her mother to learn quilting although she is uninterested and Cheryl who decides to take the class when she brings her 85 year old grandmother's quilt to Emma to repair.

The story will pull you in Wanda E. Brunstetter's magical way to draw you to the side of each character. You cannot help but feel that you are there watching the quilt classes with each unique person who not only learns to do patchwork but also piece their lives into something more than when they started.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Amish fiction or quilt fiction. It will make you smile and even has another surprising twist in the end.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 11, 2014

A nice soak, summer reads and ice cream.....

This is a book review with a twist. Do you have a favorite place to read a book? I do...well more than one place really but this one gives me total relaxation. I have a Kindle that I read from but still have a good library full of real books as I love to read in the bathtub where I just finished my latest book yesterday...

My summer reads selection is on my windowsill ...

There is nothing like soaking for a long time in a bubble bath while enjoying a good book...

My latest book was Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements. This was the first thing I have read from this author. It is a perfect summer read...light, romantic with drama along the way and full of ice cream. Good thing I was in the bath reading this or I might have reached out for ice cream each time I read a chapter. *grins*

Anna and Imogen are sisters who unexpectly inherit their grandmother's business when she passes away suddenly. Vivien has had an ice cream shop in Brighton for ages. While it used to be a major attraction on the seafront, times have seen this ice cream parlour fall into disrepair. Vivien had been a major force in the lives of Anna and Imo so they decide to forge ahead and revive the shop into an improved retro version of what their grandmother started while bringing it upmarket with innovative ice creams, sorbets and granitas. Anna even goes to Italy to learn from the masters of ice cream. But there are many hurtles to get over when starting up and the sisters need to tap into their fighting spirit to battle on in spite of problems. 

The characters in the book are really wonderful. They are, as in real life, like a mixed box of chocolates that make up a family. Vivien is at the helm and is larger than life. Even though she passes away at the beginning of the story, her spirit is in the ice cream parlour and watching over her granddaughters throughout the book. She helps them to stay focused on the business and find a way to make it work. We meet the entire family when Vivien dies, as we meet Tom and Jan who are the sisters' parents and Uncle Martin and Aunt Francoise. Tom dives into a depression after loosing his mother. He is too busy dealing with his own lost feelings to help his daughter's. But from the beginning, he and Jan show faith in Anna and Imo. 

The sisters are very different from each other in personality. Anna has a steady job and a relationship. She just bought her first home. She has a hobby of loving good food. Imogen however is a restless type. She is in Thailand when her grandmother dies. When she has a dream, she goes after it. Her dream could not be further from ice cream but her love of her family brings her home and keeps her there to help the shop get back on its feet. 

This book is one that makes you cheer to the two sisters. You want them to succeed and life to be good for them. Life is not always black and white and people do impulsive things but it can all come together if you try hard. To me, this was a bit of the theme behind this story. I really enjoyed it. 

Happy reading!