A Book Review of A Patchwork Past
Recently I had an unexpected week of vacation come up and needed a good book to bring with me to read at the pool. I chose A Patchwork Past by Leslie Gould and I am so glad that I decided on that book. I highly recommend this five-star novel. It is the second novel in the Plain Patterns series. The equally wonderful first book is Piecing It All Together.
The main character is Sophie, a likable, but “wild” former Amish young woman, who suffers from flareups of an autoimmune disease, lupus. She is forced to leave her English roommates and go back to her Amish family home when she can no longer take care of herself during a bad flare. Sophie befriends a nearby family of migrant workers and helps them when a family member is falsely accused. The book also examines Sophie’s relationship with her family. Her parents have a difficult time understanding Sophie and are disappointed in her choices.
Woven throughout the book is the story of a young Amish girl, Mary, and her father who happened to travel to Chicago in 1871 to sell their farm produce. While waiting for payment on their produce, the Great Chicago Fire breaks out. Leslie writes so vividly; you almost feel the heat from the fire and the fear from the characters.
A Patchwork Past is two stories in one book, both incredibly captivating. Leslie deals with topical subjects in a manner that is forthright but not judgmental, yet very thought-provoking for the reader. She manages to juxtapose the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 to the immigration/deportation crisis facing our country currently. These are some weighty topics, yet the book does end both storylines in a happy manner. Truthfully, I was in tears at several points in this novel but relished the enchanted conclusion of the book. Pick this book for your summer vacation reading pleasure, you can thank me later.