Beth has always wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, the US Civil War has provided the perfect opportunity to hone her skills. A group of runaway slaves brings a man who is in desperate need of her care, but Beth is hesitant as she is a loyal Unionist. However, Beth works on Joe at her grandmother's urging, and she finds herself growing closer to Joe as she tends him. Beth and Joe are both hiding things though, and this could break the bond that they are forming. Surrounding all this is a quilt that Beth's mom left to Beth to finish. It becomes a symbol of hope in a dreary world for more than one person.
I was very interested in this story. The historical aspects are always fascinating to me, and this book did a great job with showing the conflict between the two sides. It was never as easy as just tending to one side and ignoring the other for Beth. Families were torn apart by this conflict, and the result was just a horrible war. I felt for Beth though, knowing how hard it must have been to help people who seemed so against everything she stood for. Just recognizing them as fellow humans was difficult at best for her. The back stories of both Joe and Beth develop slowly, but it's not so slow that you lose interest. I think the pacing of this book was really great.
I especially loved the running ideas surrounding the quilt. Sewing was something the Beth didn't particularly want to do, but this quilt was a gift from her mother. Through this quilt though, Beth and Joe were able to find some insight and peace in terrible times. The quilt became more than just a quilt. It became a symbol of things as they could be. It was inspiring to think of all the ways that we can find strength throughout our days. This book was very beautiful, and it was a wonderful read.
Book provided for review.