Title: The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical, Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From Sandra Dallas, the best-selling author of A Quilt for Christmas, comes The Patchwork Bride, the irrepressible story of a runaway bride.
Ellen is putting the finishing touches on a wedding quilt made from scraps of old dresses when the bride-to-be—her granddaughter June—unexpectedly arrives and announces she’s calling off the marriage. With the tending of June’s uncertain heart in mind, Ellen tells her the story of Nell, a Kansas-born woman who goes to the High Plains of New Mexico Territory in 1898 in search of a husband.
Working as a biscuit-shooter, Nell falls for a cowboy named Buddy. She sees a future together, but she can’t help wondering if his feelings for her are true. When Buddy breaks her heart, she runs away.
In her search for a soul mate, Nell will run away from marriage twice more before finding the love of her life. It’s a tale filled with excitement, heartbreak, disappointment, and self-discovery—as well as with hard-earned life lessons about love. Another stunning, emotional novel from a master storyteller.
The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas is a heartfelt historical romance.
In the present, Ellen is nearing completion on a quilt that she is giving to her granddaughter, June, as a wedding present. However, June is visiting her grandparents’ ranch after calling off her upcoming marriage to her fiancé Dave Proctor. As June wonders if she has made the right choice, Ellen seizes the opportunity to tell her the story of Nell, a young woman who journeyed to the New Mexico territory in 1898. Nell also struggled with her marriage choices and Ellen hopes her story will help June as she wrestles with her decision.
Nell is an independent young woman with very few marriage prospects since she lives on her grandparents’ farm in Kansas. She has grown weary of her teaching career and she quickly seizes the chance to join her Aunt Lucy on the ranch in New Mexico Territory where she works. Not long after her arrival, Nell meets Buddy, a handsome young cowboy that quickly steals her heart. Their romance is a bit of a rocky one since both are incredibly stubborn and after one particularly heartbreaking argument, Nell leaves the ranch to return to Kansas.
A year later, Nell is still looking to settle down so she travels to Colorado where she hopes to find the man of her dreams. Working as a waitress, she meets James Hamilton, a traveling salesman whom she gradually falls for. With their wedding date within reach, an unexpected discovery sends Nell once again fleeing back to Kansas.
Nell’s third engagement is to a much older gentleman in Kansas City. He is a gentle soul and although she is not in love with him, she decides that friendship might be a better basis for marriage. But alas, their nuptials are not to be although the reason for this break up are not revealed until very late in the story.
Throughout her recounting of Nell’s heartache, Ellen is faced with some difficult choices as the love of her life, Ben, continues to decline due to his worsening dementia. She is also dealing with some health issues of her own but Ellen is very reluctant to leave the ranch they so dearly love.
Then there is June’s dilemma about what to do about her own future. She left Dave without telling him why she is uncertain about marrying him. Is there any chance the couple can work through their differences? Or will June’s life continue to follow the same unhappy path as Nell’s?
The Patchwork Bride is a captivating novel with wonderful settings and a cast of fantastic characters. Nell is certainly a sympathetic character whose search for a soulmate will resonate with readers. Sandra Dallas brings the novel to a heartwarming conclusion that will delight fans of wholesome, homespun romances.