The ladies love their quilting…

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Back before there were book clubs, the ladies had quilting groups. Heck, the ladies still have quilting groups.
In this book, set in Great Depression era Colorado—up in the mountains—the quilting groups were the big thing. This is a sisterhood book.
I like sisterhood books. I truly do.
This one starts out with 80-something Hennie noticing a sad-looking young woman outside her gate, looking at her “Prayers for Sale” sign (a remnant from happy days early in Hennie’s marriage). Hennie takes young Nit under her wing, telling her stories of their small mining town, and sharing the stories from Hennie’s younger years, which bear a resemblance to Nit’s early married years.
Hennie and Nit are both relocated from Appalachia, and their wording is full of reminders of their origins. (To the question, “How’s yourself?” Hennie replies, “I am deteriorating at a normal rate.” [p. 99] As my people are apt to say, that tickled me.)
And as in many of Dallas’s books, at least one of the characters is carrying a big secret that is revealed at the end.
This book almost could be a little sweet, but the promise of the revelation of a lifelong secret—and some of the earthiness of the town—save it.
Instead, there’s a strong tang of bittersweet. Hennie’s well-meaning daughter intends to move her to Iowa (perish the thought!) plus Hennie isn’t getting any younger, so there is a sense of loss as she experiences “the last time I’ll ever…” moments. As Nit is coming to the end of her days, Nit’s life is just getting going; the juxtaposition really works.
(I made that quilt up there while attending a week-long quilt class with a friend. She pieced the excellent block with the pink in it and helped me pick the border fabric. She is someone great.)

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

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