Friday, August 12, 2011

The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs


You know those days when you've already put in a busy, busy morning and happily, the afternoon is free? The sofa beckons invitingly, to curl up for the afternoon with an entertaining book. And one with a story that's not too much work by way of  plot twists and turns.  Well, I had one of those days yesterday and I completed: The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs before it was time to start supper.

I enjoyed this book for many reasons: Ms. Wiggs  has a true gift for bringing her characters and their surroundings to life adding to the story with each turned page. And I have always loved quilts and the (idea of!) making one. A very special quilt plays a key part in this story of a middle-aged mother (Linda Davis) and her teenage daughter (Molly) who together embark on a trip across the U.S. to arrive a week later at the college town where Molly will soon begin a new and exciting phase in her life. It was an engaging read that continued to entertain to the last page, complete with a happy ending!

A lot of memories and thoughts from the past came back to me, reading this book. Some good, some sad... My own relationship with my dear mom when I was in my late teens. The "I know it all and so much more than you do" attitude that we (my friends and I) all seemed to have in regard to anyone over 30, our parents especially. The gentle coaxing (to no avail) of my parents when they could see I was heading in a direction (I left university to get married) that I would live to regret years later. It all came flooding back as I came along for the ride with Linda and Molly.

If I had to pick out the strongest point of Susan Wiggs' writing style, it would definitely be her ability to breathe life into each character and make them believable throughout the book. One downside: I did feel that the repetitious "whinny" tone of daughter Molly a bit much by the end of the book. True to life I'm sure, for many families with teenagers but it did get to be a tad tedious.

I know that Ms. Wiggs has a large fan base of readers and I can understand why. I plan to check out some of her other novels in the future too.

If you are looking for a light read that will especially appeal to empty-nesters, soon to be empty nesters and quilt-lovers too, you might want to check this one out.

From the Amazon product page: Linda Davis's local fabric shop is a place where women gather to share their creations: quilts commemorating important events in their lives. Wedding quilts, baby quilts, memorial quilts—each is bound tight with dreams, hopes and yearnings.
Now, as her only child readies for college, Linda is torn between excitement for Molly and heartache for herself. Who will she be when she is no longer needed in her role as mom? What will become of her days? Of her marriage?

Mother and daughter decide to share one last adventure together—a cross-country road trip to move Molly into her dorm. As they wend their way through the heart of the country, Linda stitches together the scraps that make up Molly's young life. And in the quilting of each bit of fabric—the hem of a christening gown, a snippet from a Halloween costume—Linda discovers that the memories of a shared journey can come together in a way that will keep them both warm in the years to come….

Overall rating for this book: Very Good. 4 out of 5.


  1. Thanks for the review Geraldine. I am adding it to my books. I have made a lot of quilts in my life so I love reading books with stories built around them.

  2. All of her books that I have read so far have been good. I am looking forward to reading this one.

  3. The book is loosely based on Susan's only daughter Elizabeth's departure for college. Molly was a bridesmaid in Elizabeth's wedding ~ HOW I PLANNED YOUR WEDDING ~ is a humorous book that Susan and Elizabeth wrote together.

    Good review.

  4. Hi Teri, If you are a quilt-maker/lover, you will probably love this book. I loved how the author kept the making of the quilt and all the memories it held, as part of the story throughout.

    Hi SandyL, I know you love quilt-making too Sandy. Susan Wiggs certainly has a long list of books to her credit. I'm looking forward to reading more.

    Hi Anne, Welcome to MRLR. Always interesting to read about the background of a book or story, thanks for sharing!

    Happy Weekend and Reading, G :<)

  5. I really enjoyed your review of this book Geraldine, it sounds like a good read. I'll have to look for her books.

  6. Wow my G. is a book reviewer, I've read almost all of Susan Wiggs, she's one author I just pick automatically, no need to know the story, good review here M.s G, book reviewer, I'm impressed

  7. I like the idea of a "quilting bee". Historically it was a great way for women to get together and gossip and exchange recipes and tips and something gorgeous came out of it. Did you see the wonderful quilt that was made for Susan Boyle that had contributers from all kinds of countries? What a beautiful labour of love!

    I've never heard of the author but I'll have a look next time I;m at the library or out and about.

  8. Hi Brenda, Thanks for your kind words!

    Hi Lorraine, Quite a few other books reviewed here too, check that sidebar my dear! And thanks for your visits to all my blogs. All appreciated.

    Hi Cathy, I love that idea too. I have been crafting for most of my life, all kinds of crafts, selling, a yarn shop, craft columns, teaching...but never have I made a "real" quilt. I don't think I'd have the patience to try one myself, but in a group, yes, sounds like fun. And yes I did see that amazing quilt that Susan Boyle received, what a gift eh?

    I was honored to have Susan Wiggs stop by my poetry blog recently. You can read the post and her comment too at:

    Wishing you all a very happy week. Happy Reading too. G :<)

  9. I have not read that book but she's a good writer!
    Great review, G.


  10. I am always looking for a new author... I love a good book that I do not put down until finished. Thanks....RaeDi


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