When Quilts Convey More Than Warmth…
I just got done reading an Advanced Reader Copy of “A Promise in Pieces” by the beautiful Emily T. Wierenga. I didn’t even know the term ARC , but I was honored and humbled and really quite blown away to be asked at all.
First let me share how I even learned of Emily in the first place…one day I was looking through an on-line writing community where writers submit pieces and her dreadlocks caught my eye (because I’ve entertained the thought…) so I clicked on her picture…and part of her story spoke of disordered eating…so I emailed her.
I don’t usually email blog authors or on-line writers or Twitter people or famous people. I’m not sure exactly why not. I love connecting with people and learning stories, I did a radio show interviewing people for goodness sake, but in the last 3 years I’ve been recovering from a funk and so branching out of my comfort zone hasn’t been my favorite. Anyway, I think I believed what many of us do, that no one really reads our email or that the person is too busy, and even if they did read it, there isn’t enough time in a day to do anything about it, so really, what’s the point in emailing? Just to let the person know, “Hey, me too”?
And then I stopped myself. Because I love women and I totally care and if other women are putting their hearts and thoughts “out there” I know they sure as hell care, too. Spending time with women one on one or in small groups, retreats, Friday Mournings, interviews, or speaking at events or replying to emails on-line, loving and encouraging women is my most favorite thing next to Jesus, Jason, and my kids and fam.
And that’s how I felt when I read Emily’s email reply…the one in response to me sharing my long history with disordered eating, the one where she listened and didn’t judge me and instead prayed for me and encouraged my heart because some days I’m free and others days not so much.
So, when she asked me if I would be interested in reading her first novel, I said yes! Because I wanted to encourage her heart as much as she has encouraged mine!
The crazy thing is, I RARELY read fiction! I’m a realist and idealist, so for me to write fiction would like, never happen. I do read it here and there, and when I do, it’s crazy how I am able to relate to the characters, their stories, trials and triumphs, lessons learned, and their daily brokenness and heroism, all at once. So after reading Emily’s first novel, I’m asking myself why I don’t read more fiction…
…because the life stories of the characters in “A Promise in Pieces” were true glimpses into lives of real people I’ve had in my life for over 40 years, especially my grandparents and their reality…and I fell in love with each one, reading my own story into the strengths and weaknesses of the characters.
I learned to quilt the summer after two of my favorite people on Earth died, my father-in-law and a girl I mentored. My friend lovingly gave me chocolate and we sat for two weeks straight, pouring our hearts out as she taught me technique…and how to tear out wrong stitches. I wouldn’t call myself a “quilter” though I’ve made many in my day, one for each of my children, knowing a quilt is so much more than simply a blanket for warmth…
Emily did a beautiful job with her first novel. I’ll look forward to more to come from her.
So there you go. I’ve never blogged a book review before, but there you have it. And it’s going in the Bevy Library for anyone who wants to check it out. For those who don’t want to wait that long, head here to get your copy.
AND, just for fun, I’m going to give a copy away to someone who comments below. By Friday I’ll put your names in a bowl and choose, announce it by noon my time on the blog, then you can shoot me your address and I’ll have a copy sent to you! Happy Spring!
To get more involved with other readers and the author, head to her page to see the fun things she has going on in conjunction with her book launch. Check her out on Facebook, too, where she’s hosting a #quiltingbee gathering pictures of your favorite quilts and the stories behind them.