God has a way of piecing together His promises in ways we would never expect. In her debut novel, A Promise in Pieces (Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press/April 15, 2014/ISBN: 9781426758850/$13.99), Emily T. Wierenga presents the story of two women who met under the worst of circumstances but were able to turn their grief into healing for those they came into contact with.
After nursing school, Clara Wilson feels the call of freedom pull her away from both her small town and the watchful eye of her strict parents. In the midst of World War II, Clara and her best friend, Eva, see the hurt in the eyes of those who have already lost loved ones in the war. Hoping to save the lives of more soldiers, the two join the Army Nurse Corps and soon find themselves in Normandy.
Once the war is over, Clara must fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, by delivering his last letter with apologies for the missed life they planned to share. Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara doesn’t think she is prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. After meeting Mattie and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s hoped-for child, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.
When Clara returns to her hometown, she settles into life as a midwife. She wraps each newborn in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each baby is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie — and if either of them will ever experience love and a family of her own. Having witnessed so much loss, Clara fears marriage and motherhood most of all. Little does Clara know what God has in store for her or the importance of the quilt in the lives of those it touches. Years later, she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt, carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.
“I connect with Clara, who is a very broken person,” says Wierenga. “She’s a pastor’s daughter who, like me, was disillusioned about religion and desperate to encounter God for herself. I too needed to get away from home in order to realize that God had been there the whole time. My relationship with God was restored upon returning home to care for my mum. I’ve also battled infertility and miscarriage and could relate to Clara’s fear of loss.”
Wierenga hopes in reading A Promises in Pieces that readers will find the courage to love, especially if loss and fear have been standing in their way. “God mends the most broken of hearts and places the lonely in families.”
About the Quilts of Love Series
The premise of the Quilts of Love series is that quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family history. Featuring contemporary and historical romances, as well as Amish fiction, women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery, readers are drawn into the endearing characters and touched by their stories.
A special tradition the Quilts of Love authors have instituted with each release is the donation of a quilt to their chosen charity or individual in need. Emily T. Wierenga will be giving her quilt to World Help Organization, a ministry focused on meeting people’s physical needs by providing humanitarian, medical and education assistance, ensuring access to clean water and attending to their spiritual needs by providing Bibles and establishing churches in as many communities as possible. Wierenga is a blogger for World Help and recently traveled with a team to Rwanda and Uganda.
Advance Praise for A Promise in Pieces
“Itching for adventure as the war reaches into her provincial world, twenty-year-old Clara Wilson runs away to enlist as an Army nurse. After arriving in battle-torn France, patching up soldier after soldier, she soon regrets her impulsive decision. But as Clara tends a dying preacher-turned-soldier, she makes a promise that will change her life far more dramatically than war. Emily T. Wierenga’sA Promise in Piecesis not to be missed—a poignant, beautifully crafted story that will leave you wanting more from this talented debut novelist.”
~ Suzanne Woods Fisher, award-winning, bestselling author of the “Stoney Ridge Seasons” series
“Both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, A Promise in Pieces is a wonderful read that reveals just how lives torn apart can be stitched back together again — beautifully, and with a fair portion of grace. Compellingly told in a voice that is both direct and lyrical, seamlessly woven so that the world of today reverberates with the reality of the past, this book will leave you reflecting on the importance of family, believing that chance encounters can yield friendships to last a lifetime, and yearning for another novel from Emily Wierenga.”
~ Karen Schreck, author of Sing for Me and While He Was Away