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Crazy Quilt: A Novel Paperback – October 15, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082633704X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826337047
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,254,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Crazy Quilt by Paula Paul is a remarkable novel of healing." (New Mexico Woman )

"Enthusiastically recommended reading. Crazy Quilt is a superbly crafted, fun and entertaining novel. --Midwest Book Review

From the Inside Flap

After cancer treatment, a woman encounters a crazy quilt of characters who help her on her road to healing.

More About the Author

Paula Paul, is the author of 25 novels and his best known for her historical fiction and contemporary women's fiction. She's been compared to Anne Tyler for her character development and to Larry McMurtry for her sense of place.

A native of West Texas, she grew up on a ranch/cotton farm in Bailey County, Texas, a county named for one of her ancestors who died at The Alamo. She is a former journalist and the winner of several state and national awards for journalism. Among her awards for her novels are a Women Writing the West Award for fiction, a National Press Women's Award for fiction, a New Mexico Book award, and a Texas Institute of Letters award for fiction.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
The actual style of the writing is very graceful.
katherine tomlinson
Those dealing with chemo, a troubling marriage, menopause, teens, or sick and aging loved ones should also relate.
Reader Views
This is a novel that will make you ponder, will make you cry and will make you have those "A-ha" moments.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Constance M. Gotsch on February 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Flora Adams' cancer treatment is over. Minus a breast and hair, she refuses to face the fear that her tumor might return. Her husband offers no support, but she cannot accept that her disfigurment is adding more stress to her already shaky marriage. So she runs from her Albuquerque home, supposedly to visit an aunt in Lubbock, Texas. In reality Flora isn't sure where she's going. She finds herself in Muleshoe, a town near the New Mexico border. There, for reasons she can't quite understand, she searches out the old ranch house where she grew up. The house isn't there. Instead, a crusty old man named Mac inhabits a shack on the land, now owned by a large corporation. In fact, as Flora arrives, Harley, a man in the company's employ, tries to drive her and Mac away. Drawn to Mac, Flora begins to protect him. Sooin, she meets old friends, including a high school flame, James Willy, now the local sheriff. Then comes Jillian, Mac's great granddaughter cast off by her own mother.

The unlikely group has a strange effect on Flora, her self confidence, her marriage, and her fear. Mac becomes an example for her to follow in her own life. Jillian, James Willy, and Mac's neighbors, Lucy, Juan, and baby Brittany add their support. Like a quilt frame, they let Flora lay out her life and play with its possibilities, as a quilter would experiment with a design.

In Crazy Quilt, Paula Paul offers a wonderful array of small town characters who have a rich existance on the beautiful high plains of west Texas. They draw Flora into this life. She feels herself reconnecting with her past. Using the metaphor of a quilt, the author cleverly weaves Flora's history into the present, as she recalls her mother and grandmother piecing fabrics together to make the bed coverings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Crazy Quilt by Paula Paul is the entertaining, original and engaging story of Flora Adams, a cancer patient who, in the midst of a recuperation leave, stumbles upon an old man who becomes both an annoyance and an infatuation to her. Readers will be delighted as author and former journalist Paula Paul's intricate plot and an amusing spectra of characters ranging from Jillian, a young punk-rocker, to James Willie, the Texas town's sheriff. Enthusiastically recommended reading, Crazy Quilt is superbly crafted, fun and entertaining novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader Views on September 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Kelli Glesige for Reader Views (9/06)

Flora Adams is a woman of forty plus years who is returning home to west Texas from Albuquerque to visit her Aunt Cora in Luddock. It's been twenty years since Flora has been home, but she hopes a visit will help her recover from recent breast cancer surgery and the ravages of the chemotherapy treatments. Flora also hopes the time away will help her failing marriage of twenty years to husband Jeff.

While visiting her old hometown, Flora remembers all the fond childhood memories of her mother and grandmother as they put together lovely quilts for the family to enjoy, creating lasting treasures to snuggle and keep warm with. Flora remembers how the intricate patterns of special blocks were always special to behold such as the Five Point Star and the Flower Basket. With the leftover scraps, the odd shaped pieces could be used as a Crazy Quilt, and that is what Flora feels she's made of her life--not a lovely and stitch perfect block, but a crazy quilt.

While visiting the exact spot of her old home, Flora meets Mac, a stubborn old man who teaches Flora some important lessons of life. Flora ends up extending her visit and moving in with Mac. Flora reacquaints herself with old friends, even old boyfriend, James Willie, who is now the town sheriff. Mac teaches Flora to live for today and to take what your soul needs, for tomorrow may be too late. Flora tells Mac about her cancer and her fears of death. Flora and Mac become good friends and learn just how much they have in common. They soon realize they both need each other in more ways than they know. Even Shorty the dog is a loyal and needed companion in this unique partnership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By katherine tomlinson on July 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
In Paula Paul's novel CRAZY QUILT, a woman running from her present returns to her past and finds an unexpected future in a small town filled with eccentric characters.

FLORA ADAMS has driven to her home town in Texas, ostensibly to visit her AUNT CORA, but really to take some time off from her marriage to JEFF and to figure out what to do next. She's just gone through a course of surgery and chemotherapy to stave off breast cancer and she isn't happy that Jeff is pressuring her to go back to work. He keeps reminding her how hard it is to live on one salary and he thinks she's being selfish when she can't articulate why she doesn't want to go back to work quite yet. So heading for Muleshoe, Texas is a little like running for her life.

This character-driven book is centered on Flora, but the ensemble supporting cast is full of rich, dimensional roles that are ready for an actor to inhabit and enhance. The characters are very rich, both internally and externally. When the author goes into Flora's head and we listen to her thoughts about everything from her marriage to the "human sacrifice" of bits of her body to propitiate the cancer gods, we realizes we know this woman intimately--blood and bone. She is particular, but she is also EVEVERYWOMAN, and we celebrate her search for something other than oblivion. (Flora is not immune to the thought that if she is going to die from the cancer that took her left breast and her hair that she should be dying someplace interesting, like the French Riviera.)

One of the standout characters is Mac, a cantankerous old man who could have been a cliché, but instead comes across as an individual who has his own reasons for doing things (damn it!) and will brook no interference.
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