Book: The Beach Quilt | Author: Holly Chamberlin | Started: 6/10/14 | Finished: 6/12/14
Synopsis: Set in a picturesque Maine beach town, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin’s heartwarming and insightful novel delves into the choices and changes faced by two families over the course of one eventful summer. . .Everyone in Yorktide, Maine, knows sixteen-year-old Sarah Bauer. She’s a good student and a dutiful daughter, as well as a beloved best friend to Cordelia Kane. So it’s a surprise to all when sensible Sarah reveals that she is pregnant.
Though shocked, Sarah’s family is supportive. But while Sarah reconciles herself to a new and different future, the consequences ripple in all directions. Her father–a proud, old-time Mainer–tries to find more work to defray expenses. Her younger sister grapples with a secret she can’t share. Cordelia feels abandoned, and Cordelia’s mother faces the repercussions of a long-ago decision. As Sarah’s mother, Cindy, frets about how she’ll juggle childcare with her job at the local quilting store, she seizes on an idea: to band together and make a baby quilt. Piece by piece, a beautiful design emerges. And as it progresses, reflecting the hopes and cares of the women who create it, each will find strength in the friendship and love that sustains them, in hardship and in joy. . .
(I received this on Netgalley from the publisher for an honest review. Nothing that I say in my review is an exact quote from the book, per request from the author/publisher. The book is being published on June 24, 2014)
This book was super cute. It was a light, summery, beach read. While reading it, I longed to be sitting on a beach somewhere drinking a nice lemonade and hanging out with the characters. When I found this book on Netgalley, it sounded so cute and just what I needed to get my mind off sad things in life for a few days. It didn’t disappoint.
The Beach Quilt was written with four perspectives throughout the book. Cindy, Adelaide, Sarah, and Cordelia. Sarah and Cordelia are 16 year old best friends. Adelaide and Cindy are their mothers, respectively. I didn’t know how well this would work. Too many books plot women against each other, but this book did none of that. Throughout the whole book, it was apparent that all four loved and needed each other. Of course there were other characters. Stevie, Sarah’s 13 year old sister; Jack, Cindy’s husband; and Joe, Adelaide’s husband.
It was apparent, though, that the four women were closest group. They would have to be after Sarah found out that she was pregnant. I was intrigued as to how this would play out. I wasn’t sure if she would get talked into having an abortion or adoption or having the baby. Chamberlin wrote about this so well. IT never felt forced. It never felt fake. When talking to my friends that were teenage parents, they said some of the same things that Sarah said.
One thing I loved about The Beach Quilt is that it showed perfectly how when a group of lives are so entwined that one thing can change everyone. Even if that “thing”, pregnancy in this case, is happening to one person. The pregnancy brought some people closer and pushed others apart and it was written realistically. It sheds light on how a pregnancy can affect a whole family and the people closest to them- in good ways and in bad.
I really liked some characters and others I could relate to but I just wasn’t fond of them. I really did feel for Cordelia. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for my best friend to become pregnant and not know how to take care of a child. I’m sure it would be difficult for me too, but I would also not be a spoiled brat about it. Cordelia, at times, made it all about her, her, her. She thought of how the pregnancy was going to change her college plans instead of how it’s going to forever alter Sarah. I had to remind myself that she is only 16 and I shouldn’t expect a 16 year old to be as mature as say a 22 year old.
I think I connected the most with Stevie though. She wasn’t a “main character” per se. She didn’t have her voice heard. But she was real and raw and realistic. Being 13 is hard enough, but now she finds out that her sister is pregnant and everyone is paying attention to her sister and not her. That would be hard. Luckily she had the most hilarious cat in the world. I wish there was more Stevie in the book. I would love a 1.5 in the series (I think this is going to stay a stand alone though) and have it from Stevie’s perspective of after The Beach Quilt ends. I feel like there are some loose ends on her story that I may never get closure with. Maybe that’s okay and maybe it’ll eat me alive. I guess we’ll see.
Since it’s called “The Beach Quilt” I was hoping for more beach and less winter, but it’s Maine so what can I expect? When the nature was talked about, the writing made it sound awesome (which is totally Cordelia’s word) and I now have it on my bucket list to go to Maine one day. This book was very good and cute. Any time I’m looking for a break, I would come back to this book and just relax for a few hours. We all need our vacation books, and this one is mine.