Book Title: Letters from a Patchwork Quilt by Clare Flynn
Category: Adult fiction, 360 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Cranbook Press
Release date: September 24, 2015
Available for review in: Print and ebook: mobi (for Kindle)
Tour dates: February 15 – 26, 2016
Content Rating: PG – 13 + M (sexual situations)
In 1875 England, a young man, Jack Brennan, from a large and impoverished Catholic family refuses to be pushed into the priesthood and runs away to fulfil his dream of becoming a teacher.
Jack falls in love with Eliza Hewlett, but his dreams and plans are thwarted when his landlord’s daughter, Mary Ellen MacBride, falsely accuses him of fathering the child she is expecting.
Rather than be forced to marry his accuser, Jack decides to run away to America with Eliza. Just as they are about to sail, Jack is arrested and dragged from the ship, leaving Eliza alone en route to New York with just a few shillings in her pocket.
Buy the book: Amazon
“The story is different, original and touching. It’s interesting to read how the lives of Jack and Eliza unfold in different countries. The plot is powerful, the characters are well sketched, memorable, and their personalities will remain in the minds of readers even after they finish the story. It’s a story of love loss and tragedy; a heartbreaking and moving tale where readers will wish to see Jack and Eliza reunited and happy together. The narration is descriptive; it also speaks about the society that existed during that age and pulls readers into the story. It’s well written and the story is not predictable, making it a engaging read.” -Readers’ Favorite (5 Star Medal)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clare Flynn is also the author of A Greater World, set in Australia in 1920 and Kurinji Flowers, set in India in the 1930s and 40s. She is a graduate of Manchester University where she read English Language and Literature.
After a career in international marketing, working on brands from nappies to tinned tuna and living in Paris, Milan, Brussels and Sydney, she ran her own consulting business for 15 years and now lives in West London. Co-founder of the popular website, Make it and Mend it, and co-author of the 2012 book of the same name, Letters From a Patchwork Quilt is her third novel.
When not writing and reading, Clare loves to splash about with watercolours and grabs any available opportunity to travel – sometimes under the guise of research.
What could be more intriguing that finding a letter stitched into the backing of a quilt? Our curiosity is piqued when, under a magnifying glass the letters are unstitched from inside the quilt and the story unfolds.
Jack’s story begins in 1875 in Derby, England. His very poor family intend for him to become a Catholic priest, sooner than later, and as Jack has no ambition to become a priest he leaves for a teaching assignment in Bristol. Content with his new position and newfound love, Eliza it appears that his future prospects are well in hand.
Unaware of treachery brewing in the background, Jack falls victim to an unprincipled and unscrupulous priest who intends to ruin his life to protect his own reputation. Jack and Eliza immediate make plans to leave for America, but at the last moment are separated. Eliza, penniless, leaves for America alone.
The novel follows the storylines of both Jack and Eliza and what they must do to survive and move on with their lives. Their love remains strong for each other even though they seem to be powerless to effect any change in their situation. If you are looking for a light romance, this is probably not the story for you. This book has its fill of plenty of tragedy and heartbreak. Personal weakness on Jack’s part as well as the methods used by the Catholic church to cover up wrongdoings of its priesthood arise time and again and you wonder, will things ever get any better?
This is not exactly a clean read, PG 13 + M. The offensive subject matter is well within historical accuracy and has been inserted into the storyline for a reason. Nonetheless, I found that the plot kept me interested until the last page. Sorry, no spoilers!
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, February 16
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, February 18
Interview at A Holland Reads
Monday, February 22
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past