The Christmas Wedding Quilt was a book that I requested off of Netgalley back in late November when I was trying to put together a group of Christmas titles to review with April. Unfortunately, time and life got in the way, and I wasnít able to get my review up like I had planned. Fortunately, I did still manage to read The Christmas Wedding Quilt, and found it enjoyable even in my post-holidays daze.
The Christmas Wedding Quilt was a sweet book. It had this almost Hallmark quality to it as it fulfilled my need for romance and happiness around the holidays. Plus, there was also a bit of family reconnection which is always nice to read about particularly around the holidays. Iím not sure what it is about families reconnecting around the holidays that always get me so emotional. In this case, there are three stories within this one book, involving three cousins who are assigned the responsibility of putting together a wedding quilt that was started by their late aunt for their cousins wedding. The cousins havenít seen each other or quilted together in years but little by little they find themselves reconnecting and finding their own happily ever afters.
Let It Snow by Emilie Richards
The first story was about Jo who is the first one to find out about the project from her late aunt. Her aunt started the quilt knowing that ultimately she would not be able to finish it before she passed on and that is when she came up with the plan. The plan was that she would send her part to Jo with the intention that Jo would add a border and then pass it on to two of her cousins who would each add their own special border before the wedding. And in the end, their cousin could have a beautiful gift from not only her cousins but her mother as well. In order to get her part of the quilt finished Jo needed to go to Hollymeade in Western NY in order to gather pieces of fabric that was were important to the bride and groom as children. Once there, she finds herself reconnecting with a flame from the past. Overall, Let It Snow was a humorous short story with both Jo and her ex scheming to be together.
You Better Watch Out by Janice Kay Johnson
The second story was about Ella, whose car with her finished portion of the quilt inside was stolen. Thus, begins a bit of an adventure as Ella enlists the help of a random gentleman to help her chase down the car thief. It also turns out that the random gentleman is a lawyer who is dissatisfied with his life but who is refusing to admit it to himself. Together, the two of them chase the car thief, do a bit of investigating, and eventually recover both car and quilt. The characterization in You Better Watch Out was fantastic but it still felt like there was something missing from the story. I think out the three stories within the anthology, it was my least favorite. Not to say it was a bad story but in terms of personal preference, it just didnít work all the way for me.
Nine Ladies Dancing by Sarah Mayberry
The last story involves Rachel who lives in Australia and who feels very disconnected from her cousins due to her location and because she hasnít seen them in years. She also hasnít quilted in years so when itís her turn to put her border on the quilt she begins to freak out a bit. Luckily, there is a local woman who has offered her services to help Rachel complete the task, and she also has a son who Rachel knew when she was younger. Of course, there are a bit of misunderstandings along the way but ultimately, Rachel finds herself with a sense of belonging both in her new home, and within the frame of her family as well. †I liked Nine Ladies Dancing because I felt it was the story that best incorporated the way that deceased aunt wanted the cousins to bond over the quilt making experience. Also, the relationship between Rachel and Leon was sweet, and it took time to develop so it didnít feel overly rushed for such a short story.
Overall, The Christmas Wedding Quilt was a sweet book which I enjoyed but I felt like it was lacking a bit of Christmas spirit. I think this might have been because only one of the stories really mentioned Christmas, and I guess for something that had Christmas in the title, I was expecting a bit more. Also, all the individual titles for the short stories each referenced Christmas but didnít really invoke Christmas into their stories. However, I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to curl up and read something simple during the months of winter.
Disclosure: Requested on Netgalley
Other reviews of The Christmas Wedding Quilt:
Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews: “This is a wonderful collection of short stories that tie together beautifully with a common theme.”