“A Quilt for Christmas” by Sandra Dallas

Thoughts on Books by Thomas Jefferson

“I cannot live without books.” — Thomas Jefferson (Amen to that, Mr. Jefferson!)

“A Quilt for Christmas” by Sandra Dallas

(Published by St. Martin’s Press, copyright 2014, 260 pages, cover design by Kathryn Parise)

“It was a fine fall evening. The wind carried the smell of rotting apples and wood smoke and a hint of frost that would likely come after midnight. The setting sun made the stubble in the fields shimmer like flakes of mica and sent rays of light through the clouds as if the Almighty Himself were casting down the fiery shafts. Far off were the night sounds of cattle lowing, and nearer, of chickens clucking. The wind swirled paper dead leaves across the porch,” (page 1). And so, the story of Eliza Spooner’s life in 1864 begins.

“A Quilt for Christmas” is a wonderfully told story by Sandra Dallas. The book is an easy read but shows the reader a glimpse of the Civil War through the eyes of a woman left behind when her husband joins the Kansas Volunteers to fight with the north. She is left with children to care for, a farm to run, and land to cultivate. 

 After long days working the homestead, Eliza Spooner returns to a quiet house, prepares dinner for her children and herself. There is not much food to be had, but enough to get by until her husband Will returns home. In the meantime, each day is showing an edge of winter that will soon overtake the land. Plowing and harvesting crops will go silently into another season lying dormant under the new snow.

Once the children are in bed, Eliza works on a special gift for her husband — a Christmas quilt. “She had never given Will a Christmas present, and the idea of a special gift to her husband-soldier delighted Eliza. A quilt made with loving hands, a quilt that would warm Will against the winter cold, a quilt for Christmas” (page 7).

Of course, there is much more to “A Quilt for Christmas” — a runaway slave is brought to Eliza’s home, the death of some of her friends husbands, the loneliness of living on the prairie, the story of a brutal war, and much more. 

I really enjoyed reading “A Quilt for Christmas” by Sandra Dallas. This book is a keeper and worth reading again next Christmas.

LFREETOBLOG 2016  READING CHALLENGE

If you are looking for a new reading challenge for 2016, read my blog from last week. When you read the blog you will notice there are really two challenges in one: (1) 2016 is a NO BUYING BOOKS YEAR (of course, you can buy for others — reading them before you give them away is not fair and won’t count — LOL), and (2) read from your own stash, go to the public library, or borrow a book from a friend or family member.

We all have a ton of books stacked up somewhere in our house that have not been read!! And when was the last time you went to the public library — Support Your Local Public Library!

I have cut the regular yearly reading challenges down from 52 books to 25 books in 2016. Maybe this will be less daunting — unless you are a person who reads a book a week. Use this reading challenge however it fits our lifestyle; then take a couple of minutes and share with us what you are reading. Happy 2016!!!!

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