Lately I've really been trying to look at my life in a different perspective, to appreciate all the short, special moments that make my family special, and to enjoy the process of creating my quilts more than the finished product.
Going right along with this perspective, I've been trying to find books that focus on appreciating the abundance of life and love we have all around us.
So when I was emailed two weeks ago and asked to review a new book about family, love, and quilting, I jumped at the chance.
Leaving Gee's Bend was written by Irene Latham and it tells the story of a 10 year old girl called Ludelphia living in Gee's Bend, Alabama in 1932.
What I like most about this book is how well written it is and how much quilting plays a part in it. Throughout the book, Ludelphia's love for quilting runs like a constant thread, patching the story together piece by piece.
Many times I've picked up books on quilting-inspired fiction and found 90% of the book to be about a murder mystery and only an occasional minor mention of the main character stitching on binding on the way to a crime scene. Ugh!
But Leaving Gee's Bend really focuses on quilting, or specifically hand piecing. Ludelphia decides to make a quilt for her mother and takes it with her as she journeys from her home of Gee's Bend for the first time to find a doctor for her sick mother.
Her love for her mother and new baby sister and the community of sharecroppers in Gee's Bend plays an important role as well.
While a few elements of the book are slightly unrealistic, the story is being told through the eyes of a 10 year old girl, which Irene Latham captures nicely.
I believe this book is being advertised as young adult fiction, which I feel a little indifferent about.
The one part of the book I didn't like was in the very beginning as Ludelphia's mother is giving birth. Why, why, why can't women in stories give birth without it being a graphic torture session?
Yes, childbirth is a powerful, life changing event, but are we really doing our daughters any service by making it seem like the worst experience of their lives?
And does childbirth really have to be so painful?
Sorry, that's a soapbox of mine that I can get on another day!
That's really my only beef with the book, and overall I found it to be very well written and extremely entertaining.
Honestly, Ludelphia's description of hand piecing really put me in a mood to do some hand work myself!
If you're interested in checking out this book, make sure to visit Irene Latham's website here, or order the book here.
Let's go quilt (or read about quilting)!