Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review - Pattern for Romance by Carla Olson Gade

Honour Metcalf s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan a design for love.

I love love LOVE period stories. Pattern for Romance by Carla Olson Gade is set in post-Townshend Acts, colonial Boston. Honour is a quilter who has come to the United Sates by way of England and has taken up residence with the local Mantua-maker who she also works for. Her voyage to Boston had included, at first, her parents, brothers, sister, and herself... but only she and her sister remain, the result of being attacked by pirates and unable to find help soon enough.

All they have left of their mother is the indigo quilt they sleep with, and the bag that Honour carries all her quilting supplies in. But she loses it during a hailstorm at the beginning of the book. Handsome, honorable Joshua Sutton comes to her rescue though... in more than one way. The two set out to find Honour's possessions and along the way encounter quite a few obstacles that would deter most people. Luckily, Joshua is not easily deterred.

He's kind and he's caring, and even though he's told himself he's not ready to fall in love, he does. As does Honour. He's the perfect gentleman. Ok, maybe not perfect, but he's pretty darn close if you ask me. He's kind to her and to her sister. He goes out of his way to help her when (at one point) she doesn't really deserve it. He never seeks to compromise her beliefs and does what he can to help her retain (or in some cases regain) her reputation.

Like I said, I love period stories. On top of being so much fun to read, you actually learn things. Who'da thunk it. I love the language in this story and the setting. I love the details that make it seem like something that could have actually happened a couple hundred years ago. And I love being able to picture the story in my head because everything is described so wonderfully.

With that being said... Honour has some of THE WORST luck I have ever seen. The worst. I don't know how many concussions a person can have or how many times a person can hurt themselves before they decide that maaaaaybe it's not safe for them to leave bed. Ever. She definitely had that kind of "damsel in distress" thing going on.

Joshua did not disappoint. He was the colonial equivalent of a chivalrous knight in shining armor and I thought he was wonderful. He was quite noble in his task to protect Honour and restore to her things that were rightfully hers, along with helping her out in other areas as well. If he were a real person, and alive today, you'd be hard pressed to find a better man I'd wager. Family oriented, professional, kind, sensitive, persistent.... ::sigh::

It was a pretty quick read once I really had a chance to sit down and focus on the story. It actually turned out to be perfect timing, too... my oldest is studying a lot of what the colonial settlers in the book were going through as far as the Townshend Acts and taxation without representation and things of that nature are concerned. 

The story was a fun one, albeit riddled with misfortune, mostly on Honour's part, but she has a lot of people around her who love her and care for her when she needs it most. When I read things like this it always makes me wish I could travel back in time and see it all first hand.

If you like colonial stories or period stories I definitely recommend this. It's easy to read and it's incredibly interesting in its history. It's suitable for any age, although it would probably be best understood by late teens and up.

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