The town of Maintown is all abuzz when there's news of the new minister arriving in town. Even better, he's young and single! The young women of the town (and their mothers) are gearing up to present with a quilt, showcasing the talent of potential wives. Sisters Maggie and Ellie are among those in the chase to make their mark of impression on the quilt for the new preacher. When he finally arrives in town, he's everything they wished for and more! However to Ellie, there's something not quite right about the new minister. What secrets are he hiding? What girl will win his heart?
I learned tons about quilting while reading this book. Quilting bees were huge social events that many women in town looked forward too. This was a time to get together for talk and friendship. I didn't realize exactly how important it was to be able to make such intricate squares for the quilt. I'll never take a quilt for granted again! I liked reading about all the mothers who kept trying to set their daughters up with any potential bachelor who came to town. There seems to be a great deal more single young women in Maintown than in any other book I've read set during that time period. It seems all those men who wanted mail order brides should move there instead! The story reminded me of Patricia Hickman's Millwood Hollow series with a pretend preacher fooling everyone. I liked Zach a lot and I was glad that he had enough sense not to perform a marriage which would later bring shame to the couple. He seemed like a really nice guy and seemed very cool and collected and able to fit into the role of a pastor easily. Maybe there's hope for him yet?
My only complaint about the book is that Maggie acts very childish for her age. She is only two years younger than Ellie and is at the age where many girls of that time would already be married and have kids. Yet she acts without thinking and I would cringe during her scenes with Zach because for the most part he saw her as still just a girl. Other than this, I really enjoyed this book. I love this time period and I really enjoyed all the characters. The writing was top notch and shows how Pella knows as much about quilting as she does about Russian history from her other books. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.