Published: by Emilie Richards
Date: 1st January 2021
The quilters of the Shenandoah Community Church Bee are busy. Not only are they finishing a new quilt, Peaks and Valleys, for a charitable fundraiser, but together and individually they are working on other quilts, too. As always, each quilt tells its own heartwarming story.
Peaks and Valleys contains three novellas that centre around the Shenandoah community in Toms Valley.
The first story is Steps to the Altar – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Rebecca and Connor were to be married, however Connor calls it off at the last moment. So what to do with the Steps to the Altar quilt that the quilters have gifted them. Would the quilters take it back? Would one of them keep it? Or might there be a way to step back to each other and actually put that quilt on their bed? It’s a novella but it felt like a full, satisfying story.
Woven Paths is the second story, centred on twin sisters. Kate is now responsible for Bejoy since their mother’s death. It’s a journey for sure, a surprising and heart warming one. Emilie Richards explores this situation wonderfully well. Both women found a place in my heart. And a second quilt pattern I hadn’t known about. Again a novella that felt very complete.
Peaks and Valleys the third novella is The Contrary Wife. Cathy is the president of the quilting group – perhaps not the best quilter among them, but certainly she has great organisational skills. Alf her husband is retired but undergoing a kind of crisis where upon he wants to go back to the high powered life he left to be a gentleman farmer. The way Cathy conducts herself through all this was delightful. Alongside this couple is a younger couple – Molly and Zach, with a history of their own and who are yet to find their feet. Another totally engrossing story.
The book finishes with an epilogue that has us at the fair that raffles the Peaks and Valleys quilt that they have been working on and has been a theme through each story. It plays out perfectly with a little surprise at the end.
I fell in love with all the characters – some already known, some new. It is not often I even read a novella and very rare for me to fall for three in a row and award five stars at the end. A winner. Shenandoah series fans will love this one and even if you have never read that series, this is quite a stand alone, so go try a sample of life in Toms Valley.