Amy Clipston. The Cherished Quilt. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. See here to buy the book.
The Cherished Quilt is the third book of Amy Clipson’s “Amish Heirloom” series. Book 1, The Forgotten Recipe, focused on Veronica and her relationship with Jason. Book 2, The Courtship Basket, focused on Veronica’s sister Rachel and her relationship with Mike. Book 3, The Cherished Quilt, is about Emily, the third sister.
One can understand most of The Cherished Quilt without
having read the previous books of the series. Readers should keep in
mind, however, that the character of John is a little kid. Readers of The Cherished Quilt
could probably detect that from what he says, but it is not explicitly
stated in that book. Those who have read the previous book of the
series already know that he is a little kid, since he was a major
character in The Courtship Basket.
In The Cherished Quilt, Emily meets Chris, who has recently
moved to the area to work with his uncle. Chris is self-doubting and
aloof, and Emily wants to reach out to him. Chris is dealing with a lot
of guilt because his little brother Gabriel fell off a horse while
Chris was around. Chris is estranged from his father, who blames Chris
for the accident. While Chris is attracted to Emily, Chris is reluctant
to be baptized and to join the church, which is a requirement for
The Cherished Quilt is probably the best novel by Amy
Clipston that I have read thus far. Many of her novels (that I have
thus far read) are repetitive and cover the same territory over and
over. The Cherished Quilt, by contrast, covered the same
territory the right amount of times (in my opinion), diversified its
presentation of the territory, and covered a variety of topics.
The character of Chris was particularly well-developed. Chris was
insecure, even towards people who had been nothing but friendly towards
him. There was more to Chris’ relationship with his father than the
accident involving Gabriel: Chris’ father showed favoritism towards
Chris’ brother Paul because Paul was better at training horses. Chris’
struggle with joining the church is also explained in some detail.
The scene in which Chris and his father talk things out is
remarkable, as Chris’ father acknowledges his foibles, while also
explaining his perspective. Chris’ religious struggle was resolved too
hastily, and yet Amy Clipston may genuinely feel that the answer to
Chris’ perplexity had a simple answer. The book also briefly discussed
the question of whether Chris’ crafts are a graven image and violate the
second commandment, but more detail and wrestling with this question
should have been provided.
Emily often thinks of others besides herself, yet she struggles with
her own loneliness. The intersection between these characteristics
perhaps could have been developed more, and yet Emily is still a lovable
Like the previous two books of the series, the third book ends on a
mystery. This mystery intersects with the mysteries in the previous two
books. The mysteries remain unresolved, and yet Emily’s mother at the
end of the book is finally willing to explain what happened. We may
have to wait for the fourth book before we, the readers, can find out!
In terms of stars, this book is too good to get four stars, yet not
quite five-star material. I would give it a 4.5, while giving it five
stars on Amazon. The book is officially released in November, though,
so I will have to wait before posting my Amazon review.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.