I just finished reading Sarah's Quilt by Nancy Turner. She is also the author of These is My Words, which was a finalist for the Willa Cather Literary Award. When the Denver Post compared it to Lonesome Dove, I almost didn't buy it because I didn't want to read a "western". But it came highly recommended by Sharon Cutler, Kristi's mother-in-law, so I bought it. After reading about 30 pages, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the rest. It is 400 pages, after all. I could spend my time reading a couple of other books that have been waiting in the wings for quite a while. But I persisted in what I had started and really had a great read.
My favorite paragraph is found on page 149. "My mama paid no attention, just went about gathering her scissors, thread, and thimbles. Then she set up her chair and pulled up an empty one next to her. She patiently threaded two needles. She'd work with one until in was gone , then the other, and then rethread them both. The extra chair, though, was a sad empty chair. It was for the missing woman. The friend who might call, just as you'd sat to quilt, and who might bring a loaf of bread, lend a hand, do a square. As I watched her concentrate on her tiny, even stitches, every one of them a bare eighth of an inch between, I sensed the empty chair was for me, and it filled me with an uneasy longing.
There are times I miss the things I haven't done in my life. As I stood there in the doorway, looking at my mama, needle just whipping like a tiny silver dart, that empty chair told me I'd have to make time for more. Not as if I didn't work enough, but somehow there had to be an extra hour in the day that I could spend with her."
Sarah Agnes Prine hardly had time to breathe between adventures, let alone sit down and quilt. This story took place in 1906 in and around Tucson Arizona, when they were experiencing a 3 year drought.
This book was definitly worth reading. Now I'll have to read the prequel to this book, These is My Words.