By: Sandra Dallas
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 2018
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Just like the art of fine quilting, Sandra Dallas stitches together fine writing in her latest novel, The Patchwork Bride.
Ellen is working on the wedding quilt she is making for her granddaughter’s wedding. She’s nearly finished and cannot wait to gift the quilt to her. Unfortunately, bride-to-be June has cold feet and her uncertain heart leads her to her grandma Ellen and grandpa Ben’s ranch. It’s not that June doesn’t love her fiancé. She’s just not sure he’s the one for the rest of her life. What if there’s someone else she is destined to spend the rest of her life with? After all, she thought her mother and father would be together forever and that didn’t happen.
When June wakes up the next morning, she wanders to the kitchen for a long visit with her grandmother. She loves the quilt she made but wonders if she’ll ever be the bride to receive it. Ellen decides it’s time to share the story of ‘Nellie Blue Eyes’ with her granddaughter. It turns out Nellie was a lot like her granddaughter in that she left her Kansas home and ventured to the high plains of New Mexico Territory in 1897 in search of a husband. The thing is, once Nellie arrives and thinks she meets the future husband of her dreams, she ends up running away from marriage twice before finding the one true love of her life. Through a series of mishaps, broken hearts and a lot of lessons in between, Ellen manages to impart a fair amount of sage wisdom on her granddaughter in hopes she will make the right decision when it comes to her wedding day, whenever that may be.
Sandra Dallas has served up a sweet story of true love. She uses main character, Ellen, as her storyteller and guides the reader through a series of stories about one, biscuit shooting cowgirl known as Nell. Ms. Dallas demonstrates a natural flair for storytelling and her audience will effortlessly turn the pages of this engaging story. Her characters are full of life and the dialogue is credible with the late 1800’s period. Tales of shenanigans and tomfoolery are bountiful, and the light shines bright on many ‘runaway bride’ moments. ‘Nellie Blue Eyes’ experiences will have the reader chuckling in one moment and questioning her motivations in the next. This heartfelt story is not predictable, and the ending is superbly done in ‘I gotcha’ fashion. I will have to make a point to go back and read more of Ms. Dallas’ work. Well done. I am a fan!
Quill Says: The Patchwork Bride is a fun and whimsical read.