* Copy courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours *
Coming from a long line of seamstresses, Libby has yet to sew anything more than the rudimentary button or hem, but on a visit to Connecticut she learns more than just how to sew patchwork.
Set in 1855 New England and London, this tender story, Libby Morgan: Reunion, follows tenacious Elizabeth (Libby) Jane Morgan through her thirteenth summer of new adventures at home and abroad. She is given a birthday gift of sewing tools and fabric, as well as old family letters to use as templates for making her first quilt. Her decision to first read the letters results in questions that only her Grandmother Morgan’s stories can answer—stories of true love, horrible loss and family connections to London nobles.
Her keen eye and inquisitive nature draws her family into a mysterious investigation that tests their faith, challenges their ability to forgive, and results in a resurrection and reunion of lost hearts.
Libby Morgan: Reunion is set in 1855 and is a coming-of-age story suitable for YA and Middle Grade (MG) readers. It's what I would call a 'clean read' and would even recommend it to mature readers from the age of 10. Libby is the lead character who learns to sew from her Grandmother and Mother, both accomplished sewers in their own right.
I'll admit, the subject matter of quilting lured me into this novel, and it will certainly appeal to a wide range of readers also interested in the topic. Using the paper from old letters as a pattern to sew into her quilt was intriguing but also broke my heart - who cuts up old family letters just to use the paper? But paper is rare in New England during this period and so they're happy to do it.
During the process of reading each letter before cutting them up, Libby learns about her family's past and a nice little mystery is unravelled. All in all, Libby Morgan: Reunion was a nice little read to cleanse the palate between more demanding novels.
My rating = ***
About the Author
Leah A. Zieber is a quilt historian and quilt maker from Temecula, California, specializing in American quilt history and reproduction quilts from the nineteenth century. Her quilts have been exhibited across the country in quilt shows, museums and historical societies and were most recently published in Stars: A Study of 19th Century Star Quilts. Leah has worked closely with Southern California collectors, cataloging, managing, and independently researching their textile collections. Her own collection of antique quilts and related textile items spans one hundred and eighty five years, and she shares her knowledge of American quilt history using her collection in lectures and workshops. Libby Morgan: Reunion is her debut novel and the first in her American Heritage Quilt Series.