Maybelle in Stitches: Quilts of Love Series [NOOK Book]

Overview

Maybelle can?t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother?s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it?s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to...
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Maybelle in Stitches: Quilts of Love Series

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Overview

Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426787249
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Series: Quilts of Love
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 722,986
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Joyce Magnin is the author of several books, including The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, named one of the "Top 5 Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009" by Library Journal. Her short fiction pieces and articles have been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children and one grandson, and is mom to a neurotic parakeet who lives with her in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
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Read an Excerpt

Maybelle in Stitches

Quilts of Love Series


By Joyce Magnin

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2014 Joyce Magnin Moccero
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-8724-9


CHAPTER 1

October 1943 Chester, Pennsylvania


My dearest Maybelle,

Another long day has finally come to an end. We just finished dinner. Paxton is already snoring. He can sleep anywhere. I don't have to tell you how sleep eludes me here. But, supper was good, lamb stew with potatoes and carrots. I had three helpings. I can't tell you how or where, but we actually ate supper at a real house, not a foxhole. But now, I am in our tent, shivering because it is so cold and it makes me wish even more you were in my arms. I love you, darling, and miss you more than anything. I know you are worried, but don't be. I'll be home soon, I promise. I can hear artillery off in the distance, but if I listen real hard, I can hear your voice, singing the silly song you always sang. Oh, sorry, sweetheart, I have to go now. My sergeant is waiting for me. Some sort of (censored) duty. Good night, darling.

Your Ever-Loving Husband,

Holden

* * *

Maybelle slipped the V-Mail letter into her pocket and headed off down Ninth Street toward the Sun shipyard. The main reason she had taken the job was because she thought it would help take her mind off of missing Holden. And because most of the men had been sent off to war, they needed her. As it turned out, learning to be a welder repairing huge war ships did accomplish some of her goal, but it also accomplished something else. Maybelle had become a part of a small group of army wives whose husbands were fighting in Europe. A group that worked together, laughed together, ate together, and far too often cried together. Try as they might, the wives had a difficult time refraining from long talks of their husbands and the war. There was no use trying to hide their true feelings, although each and every woman was proud as punch her husband was doing his part. It seemed to be the motto on the home front. Do Your Part. Well, Maybelle certainly believed she was doing hers.

She lived only five blocks from the massive shipyard on the Delaware River in Chester—a small but bustling suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After Holden enlisted, Maybelle moved in with her mother. Maybelle and Holden had plans to move into one of the blossoming communities a little farther west. But for now, home with Mom and Bingo, her black mutt of a dog, was the best of all places for Maybelle. Still, she missed Holden more than anything. They had gotten married only two weeks before he shipped out for Europe. His orders came early. Six whole months early and so Maybelle and her mother scrambled to get the wedding organized in time. Pastor Mendenhall was more than accommodating. As a matter of fact, Maybelle was delighted the way the entire congregation, what was left of it, pitched in.

Maybelle could hear the shipyard whistle blow all day long from the house. The yard operated twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The whistle announced the numerous shift changes, lunch, starting and stopping times. She felt fortunate for having the day shift.

* * *

Ninth Street was a nice tree-lined street with large row homes, mostly stone and wood but a few clapboard singles with small yards. Although the houses might have been identical in architecture, each one had its own personality, the mark of the owner. Just like her house, many of the homes had red-and-white service banners with blue stars indicating the number of men from that house who were fighting. Many of the houses around town displayed a black banner in honor of a fallen soldier. Patriotism was something Chester was not short of.

Maybelle stopped in front of her friend's house. She was a friend who had been her matron of honor and did more than any friend should to keep Maybelle cool, calm, and collected. Maybelle and Doris had been friends since they were babies. It was the end house on her row—her parents' house. Doris's house displayed a banner with one blue star in honor of Doris's husband, Michael. Everyone called him Mickey. They inherited the house after Doris's father passed away some five years ago. Her mother succumbed to influenza years before. Doris never really knew her and was pretty much the woman of the house since she could remember.

"Hey, Maybelle," Doris called from the door. "I'll be down in a second."

"Okay." Maybelle said with a wave.

Maybelle waited. She always waited for Doris. Doris would be late for her own funeral. But Maybelle was used to it and always arrived a few minutes early. Then they would not be late for their shift, something foreman Logan T. Frawley did not tolerate.

Maybelle watched Doris pull the front door closed. She wore a straight, no-frills dress with pretty pink flowers against a yellow background. Her hair was short, like Maybelle's. A decision they both made after hiring on at the shipyard. Long hair was not the best when working around machinery and welding torches. Doris's cut made her appear cute and flirtatious, while Maybelle often had to remind people she was a girl. Even wearing a dress to work was risky. There were posters all over the yard reminding women not to wear skirts and to keep hair tied up or short. Doris always changed into overalls once she got there.

"What?" Doris said as if she read Maybelle's mind. "I like dresses."

"Suit yourself," Maybelle said. "But one of these days you're gonna get caught in a fan or something."

"Never happen," Doris said. "We better scooch. Don't want Logan breathing down our necks." She said it every morning. Maybelle had come to look forward to it.

"Right," Maybelle said. "What did you pack for lunch?"

"Leftover meatloaf."

"I got ham—again. It's one thing about this war that's annoying. Food rationing."

"Yeah, I'll say. Everything is so hard to get. Hazel was completely out of Off-Duty Red nail polish. I had to settle for this." She wiggled her fingers at Maybelle. "Dark burgundy. Yuck."

"It's not so bad."

* * *

The two picked up the pace a bit as they crossed Front Street to the shipyard. It was a wide street with a lot of traffic and a traffic cop who directed folks in and out of the yard. His name was Wiley. Officer Wiley.

"Morning, ladies," he said as Doris and Maybelle crossed. "Have a good shift."

"Yeah, yeah," Maybelle said with a backwards wave. "Build those ships."

To Maybelle, the entrance to the shipyard, at least Department 59, where they worked always looked so disproportionate to the rest of the yard. A little, well, normal-sized steel door against a building large enough to house a battleship.

Doris located her card first. Maybelle had to wait for Big Murray Johns, one of the only men on the line. Murray wanted to go to war, but a heart murmur kept him home. He was not happy about it. "I woulda made a great soldier."

And standing over six and half feet tall and broad as an oak testified to that fact.

"Morning, Big Murray," Maybelle said.

Murray only grunted as usual and headed toward Slipway number seven.

"Always a cheerful guy," Maybelle said.

"Yeah," Doris said. "He is just way too happy."

They giggled and headed for the women's locker room. Inside they found the locker each shared with three other women. Maybelle pulled on her overalls and snagged her goggles from the many on hooks near the entrance to the actual dock where they worked welding seams.

It was a good job, a job Maybelle felt, in some strange way, rather suited for. She always was a tomboy, more eager to play baseball and climb trees than fuss over clothes and baby dolls. Doris, on the other hand, was practically absorbed with her concerns about how she looked and dressed. Even under her heavy, oily overalls and welder's shield, you could tell Doris was pretty, slight, and trim with a figure to pretty much turn any head.

Logan met them just before they took their station. "Boss said we have to get a step on. We're under quota," he said.

"Yeah, yeah," Maybelle said. "Get a step on."

Doris just let a phttt noise leave her mouth. "He says it all the time, doesn't he? I swear the boss just likes to get under our skin. And besides, what will happen if we don't make quota? Will the Jerries win?"

"Just get to work," Logan said from behind. "This is serious business."

"Ohhh, I'm scared," Doris said. "Look, just do your job and we'll do ours and we'll all get to Scotland before ye."

Maybelle gave Doris a punch on the shoulder. "Don't get him angry, Doris."

"Ahh, he's just a sourpuss. Never met anyone so grumpy. Besides, the ships always get launched, don't they?"

* * *

The shift went as usual. Maybelle and Doris usually worked from seven in the morning until three or sometimes four in the afternoon before the next shift came on. Sometimes they worked later depending on demand and on exactly what task they had been given. And lately, it seemed President Roosevelt was adding more and more ships to their already bulging demand.

Maybelle worked steadily, while every so often feeling for the letter in her pocket and dodging welding splatter—the sparks flew everywhere making the yard look like a perpetual Fourth of July celebration. Somehow, just knowing the letter was there helped pass the day and keep Holden close, almost home. Even though she would often remind herself anything could happen, and she really had no idea when Holden would be coming home. Or, as with the hundreds of other military wives in the yard, if he would be coming home.

"Doesn't it bother you?" Maybelle asked on the walk home. "How can you be so cool and so collected all the time?"

"Doesn't what bother me?" Doris asked.

"The war. All the death and destruction. We build ships so our guys can kill their guys. What sense does that make? I mean, if you stop to think about it. It's kind of crazy."

"Hitler has to be stopped, Maybelle. We're making it possible. So no, it doesn't bother me." Doris stopped and snagged a tiny rosebud still hanging on to one of Ruth Bradshaw's bushes.

"What about Mickey, then?" Maybelle asked. "Aren't you worried about Mickey?"

Doris stopped walking and looked in Maybelle's eyes. "Sure I miss him. I worry every single day, but I also pray every single day. God is watching over him and won't let any harm come. I figure as long as I keep getting letters, I ain't gonna worry. I just ain't." Maybelle could feel Doris's determination to stay brave.

"Yeah, yeah, I suppose that's best." Maybelle didn't know for sure. She didn't know much for certain except her feelings about the war, and the restrictions on gas and food and electricity. She desperately wanted the war to end. And as for God? Well, things of that nature had started to elude her. She went to church every Sunday, and if push came to shove, she would admit God was in control, but lately she had started to wonder.

"It's like this rosebud," Doris said as she picked up her pace. "I got no real guarantee it will bloom. But ... but I believe it will. All I have to do is put it in some water and wait."

Maybelle chuckled. She wished she had Doris's optimism. But she didn't. She reached her hand into her pocket and felt the letter. Still there. Still close. She still worried.

They reached Doris's house. "All I can tell you is to try not to worry too much. Don't ask so many questions and, like the president keeps reminding us, do your part to help. I think it makes me feel like I'm fighting with Mickey, not just waiting for him to come home or for victory—which by the way is more sure than ever if you listen to the news reports."

"I do. I guess I'll try harder."

Doris kissed her friend's cheek. "Look, I'll see ya tomorrow."

"Hey," Maybelle said, "why don't you stop down for supper in a bit? Mom's making chicken and dumplings."

"Oh, boy, chicken and dumplings. I love your mom's chicken and dumplings. It's a deal."

"Great. Get changed and come by. About an hour."

* * *

Maybelle picked up her steps a little as she walked; the air had turned chilly as late October settled into the Delaware Valley. Maybelle thought living so close to such a huge river might be part of the reason for the cool winds in winter and the steamy zephyrs in summer. She wanted there to be a spring in her step like Doris's. Like some of the other women in the yard. They were all in the same boat, so to speak. But she couldn't shake the terrible feeling haunting her for three solid days. Every time she read Holden's letter she felt it. Every time she touched the letter, she felt it. Every time she mentioned his name, she had to hold back tears. Something was not right.

Maybelle stood a moment outside her house. She loved it. It was one of the biggest ones on the block and set off on a large lot now gone to mostly dirt and weeds. A huge oak tree grew on the side. Maybelle's father had told her it was there when William Penn first walked the streets of Chester, the oldest town in Pennsylvania. She liked knowing this. It made her feel a part of history, the way the war was making others feel, perhaps.

* * *

"Mom, I'm home," Maybelle called as she pushed open the front door. "Mom?"

Maybelle slipped off her boots as she did every day. The boots were heavy and made her feet hurt. Then she put her handbag on the couch. "Mom?"

Bingo came bounding into the living room to greet Maybelle. "Hello, puppy," Maybelle said. She kneeled and rubbed the dog's ears and head. "I missed you, too, boy."

"What is it?" her mother called from the kitchen.

"Nothing, just letting you know I'm home."

Maybelle played with Bingo another minute before heading up the stairs. "I'll be down in a minute," she called. "Just want to wash my face and change."

Blue jeans and flannel shirts were pretty much all Maybelle wore lately. She was comfortable and happy and saved her dresses for important things like church and the occasional party at the Canteen. She quickly washed the oil and smudges from her face and then joined her mother in the kitchen. The wonderful, enticing aroma of chicken simmering in the pot permeated the room. A smell like spring, with celery and roasted pepper, carrots, and peas. Truly one of Maybelle's favorite meals, especially on a chilly evening.

"How was work today?" Francine asked.

Maybelle lifted the lid of the simmering stew and let the steam encircle her. She inhaled. "Mom, you make the best chicken and dumplings. I invited Doris."

"I thought you would. I'm making plenty."

Maybelle sat at the kitchen table. "I had a good day. You know, same old stuff. Logan was a bear, though."

"Ahh, don't let him bother you. He's just sore 'cause he can't be fighting in Europe."

"I know, but he doesn't have to take it out on us. But yeah, it was a good day."

"Good, good." Francine dumped a bunch of confectioner's sugar into a bowl. A small white cloud drifted up.

"Whatcha making?" Maybelle asked.

"Frosting. I baked a chocolate cake this morning."

"Really, Ma? That sounds good. Where'd you get chocolate?"

Just then, Roger walked into the kitchen, yawning. Roger was a boarder whom Maybelle and her mother had living in the house. Since things had gotten so busy at the shipyard and there were so many rooms left vacant as men and women went to war, many folks rented out their beds. Some houses had two and three people sharing one bed in different shifts leading some folks to remark there was never a cold bed in Chester.

"Hey, Roger," Maybelle said. "Graveyard again?"

Roger lifted the lid on the stew. "You make the best chicken, Francine." He replaced the lid and joined Maybelle at the table. "Yeah. Graveyard. It's killing me. Except well, I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I understand we're starting some top secret job tonight."

"Now, now," Francine said. "Loose lips sink ships."

Roger snorted air from his nose. "Yeah, yeah. I ain't sayin' nothin'."

"Hey," Maybelle said. "Doris is coming by in a bit."

A grin the size of Francine's soup pot stretched across Roger's face. "That's nice, real nice. But I ain't hangin' around tonight. I'm meeting a couple of the boys down the taproom before work."

"Ahh, you and the taproom. How can you go there before putting in a full shift?" Francine asked as she tapped a large spoon against the pot.

"I can't sleep, once you hens start yakking, so I might as well." Then he smiled and kissed Francine's cheek. "See you tomorrow."

"No, no, hold on. Sit. Let me give you a bowl of stew before you go. No dumplings yet but you can eat the best part."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin. Copyright © 2014 Joyce Magnin Moccero. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2014

    This book depicts the day-to-day life of Maybelle as she waits f

    This book depicts the day-to-day life of Maybelle as she waits for her husband, grieves for her mother, and interacts with her roommates and co-workers. I was surprised at the lack of attachment Maybelle feels for the quilt since she feels so inadequate at sewing. Her friend is the one pushing her to complete it as a way to cope with her grief, and eventually the quilting parties become a way to connect and bond with those around her. Her thoughts of loneliness become repetitive by the end of the book, but I'm sure that is close to what those enduring the war endured.

    (Thank you to Abingdon Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Joyce Magnin in her new book, ¿Maybelle in Stitches¿ Book Sixtee

    Joyce Magnin in her new book, “Maybelle in Stitches” Book Sixteen in the Quilts of Love Series published by Abingdon Press brings us into the life of Maybelle Kazinski.




    From the back cover:   A patchwork quilt holds together two hearts separated by miles of ocean and the Second World War.




    Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in her mother’s closet, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden Kazinski, is away fighting in World War II.




    Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.




    History, World War II, Quilting and Shipbuilding.  Quite a mix and, on the outside, it seems difficult to write a story combining all these elements.  Fear not, Ms. Magnin has captured them well and provided an excellent story. The men are off fighting but the jobs needed to be filled so the women stepped up to the challenge.  Maybelle becomes a welder at a shipyard.  She has never been a welder in her life however she is up to the challenge.  She has never sewn before either but accepts that challenge as well. This is a story about spiritual growth, about stepping out of your comfort zones and of relying heavily upon God.  All kinds of events happen and it takes a rock-hard foundation upon God to keep her grounded.  Maybelle and the rest of the characters are outstanding and wonderful to be with and learn about.  Ms. Magnin has done an outstanding job of bringing history to the table.  There is a lot in this book, much to think about and it just interesting and exciting as well.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Joyce Magnin has established herself as a talented author with a

    Joyce Magnin has established herself as a talented author with a unique voice in such novels as The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow and the delightful Harriet Beam books.  Her addition to the Quilts of Love series is a departure from the type of story I expected from her, but it was a heartwarming read.  For someone who had not read a historical fiction book centered around the WWII wives and women left to work in the industries supporting the war effort, this would be a good read.  Personally, I thought the characters in Lynn Austin's A Woman's Place were better developed and the plot was "meatier."  I didn't quite understand Magnin's inclusion of two women boarders at Maybelle's home, only to have them "disappear" suddenly.  Perhaps, we were to understand how everyone's world kept constantly changing.  I felt that Magnin's story showed how even grief was given a limited time, as everyone had to "move on" and deal with everyday life.
    Maybelle shows that as she deals with her mother's unexpected death, and so does her friend Doris.




    To readers who are enjoying the Quilts of Love series, you'll want to read this title, also. If you discover that you are fascinated by that time period and the lives the women and family left behind when the soldiers went off to war, I also recommend you seek out other WWII-centered books such as Lynn Austin's A Women's Place.

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  • Posted April 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Quilts of Love Maybelle couldn't believe she was going to attem

    Quilts of Love

    Maybelle couldn't believe she was going to attempt to finish a quilt her mother had started. Her dear friend Doris said it was a memory crazy quilt since it had pieces of fabric from Maybelle's heritage.  After great contemplation they decided to add more than her childhood scraps to the quilt she would add pieces of memory of her husband and others whom were enduring this Second World War. The fact that her husband was missing in action makes finishing the quilt more important than ever.

    There is one big problem Maybelle can't sew and needed help. She had several women workers from the shipyard renting rooms in her home.  She too worked at the shipyard as a welder building ships which was her contribution to the war. Some of the women staying in her home and a couple of other she worked with was interested in helping her with the quilt even adding some of their own memories to the quilt and at the same time they would teach Maybelle to sew.  

    I found the character Maybelle to be pessimistic in many ways. For instance her lack of faith in God to keep her husband safe or to get her through life's everyday trials and tribulations. She did not think she was capable of  learning to cook or sew in other words most things women were expect to know by her age. She had no faith in herself or God. She came off at times as being self-centered.  Especially when there others were worried about their husbands being missing or becoming casualties of war.  

    I loved the story line of the shipyard women workers, but the rest of the reading was slow.  The reading seemed repetitive at times about the characters daily lives.  But the story line kept me reading and waiting for something interesting to happen which it did occasionally through the story.   

    My own father was in the Navy during WWII.  He died from Leukemia in 1955 when I was four years old.  I have no memory of him.  A memory quilt would have been nice.

    I do recommend this book. 

    Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Abingdon Press for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.

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  • Posted April 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This book is about Maybelle Kazinski, a welderette for Sun Shipb

    This book is about Maybelle Kazinski, a welderette for Sun Shipbuilding and Dock in Chester, Pennsylvania. Maybelle was newly married when her husband was called off to war. Now he is missing in action and she is left to wonder if she will ever see him again. Her friend, Doris is determined to help keep hope alive so when Maybelle finds an unfinished quilt her mother had been making, Doris insists on gathering a few ladies to help finish it. It is a crazy quilt made from material that Maybelle identifies as scraps from her family history.

    Maybelle is pretty disheartened by her own lack of skills when it comes to things like sewing, cooking and cleaning, all of the things most women know how to do, and she gave up repeatedly. Her best friend, Doris, was always there to encourage her and nudge her along and I loved that. Everyone needs that kind of friend in their life. Everyone really came together as a group to finish the quilt but it was much more than that. They were all women fighting for the same cause. They all had loved ones at war and each knew the other's sadness and pain. They were a sounding board for each other, a shoulder to lean on. I love that the book was about the war. I love war torn stories. Reading about the devastation and havoc of war can really speak to a person and touch their heart in a deeper way. I did find it a little slow, however. I kept waiting for the pace to pick up but it never did. The storyline was good and I liked the characters but it failed to really draw me into the story, to hook me. It was set in 1943 and the language and setting was true to that time period. One of the major sayings in the book was "what a gas" or "it's a gas". I thought that was great. Anyone that likes sewing or the background of the war efforts (it was mostly about building and repairing war ships) will like this book. If you like a fast paced novel it might not be for you.

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

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  • Posted April 12, 2014

    Maybelle in Stitches World War II placed numerous women in t

    Maybelle in Stitches




    World War II placed numerous women in the work force to aid in the country's war effort. The characters in Maybelle in Stitches are employees of a famous shipyard, the main character and her best friend working as welders. The women in this story are waiting for their husbands to arrive home from the war, passing the time together, visiting and sharing sad news as well as good. The main character's mother died, and when Maybelle was cleaning out her mother's things she discovered a quilt her mother had started, and numerous odd pieces of fabric. Those fabrics turned out to be pieces of cloth saved from clothing her family had worn, pieces of Maybelle's baby quilt, etc. A quilting group eventually formed to piece together memories of the past and the present, bringing these women together not only to create a warm bed covering, but a bit of hope to their lives.




    It is obvious that a lot of research went into the writing of this book. The details regarding the shipyard and the type of work that women were doing throughout World War II was interesting. I enjoyed the camaraderie that developed between these women while putting together a crazy quilt of memories. I had a bit of trouble staying focused while reading the daily details of the characters, and the repetition. This book could have used more editing. There were a few discrepancies, etc. The last few chapters were quite enjoyable and I enjoyed the creation of the crazy quilt of memories.




    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

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    We all know about women being employed at factories during World

    We all know about women being employed at factories during World War II as an effort to help do whatever they could to enable their men to come home from the war as soon as possible. For Maybelle Kazinski, she is doing her part as a welder in Sun Shipyard, getting ships ready to aid in the war effort. She had only been married for a couple of days to Holden before he was called to report for duty, but it was worth it to know that he would have her waiting for him when he returned, if he returned at all. It seems like the waiting was truly the hardest part and even though working for six days helped to pass the time, she would cringe whenever the doorbell rang expecting the worst.

    She just wasn't prepared for that dreaded feeling in the pit of her stomach to take the life of her mother, Francine and leave her alone. She had lost her father earlier and besides Roger, one of her mother's boarders who also worked at Sun Shipyard who she had come to see as a brother of sort, she had no more family left. Her only consolation was her best friend Doris who also had a husband serving overseas. Between the two of them, they did what they could to encourage each other that the war would be over soon and their men would come home.

    But life isn't always sunshine and roses! Fate intervenes when we least expect it and for Maybelle it would be when the doorbell rings and a yellow telegram is delivered. The only good thing about the news it contained was that Holden wasn't killed but simply missing in action. But for Maybelle it seemed to be her undoing. On the heels of her mother's death and Holden's MIA telegram she had to find something to keep time from crawling along. When she discovers a crazy quilt of scraps her mother was making as a surprise for her and Holden for Christmas, Doris decides to convince Maybelle that they should finish it. But Maybelle isn't exactly what you would called skilled at sewing or cooking for that matter. Her high school sewing project involved her sewing the zipper of her dress into the neck area instead. Something that is still laughed about between her and Doris. But at least it will help to pass the time between working and sewing.

    I received Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is the 16th novel in the Quilts of Love Series and one that can be read as a stand alone as each talented author takes their turn at telling a story with the quilt at the centerpiece. Joyce appealed to not only the romance lover in my heart but to WWII lover as well. I loved the background story she researched about women working in the shipyards as welders for Sun Shipyard which she includes at the conclusion of this novel. It makes it so rich to read how difficult it was waiting for men to come home from the war not knowing if they would ever see them again. Hands down this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

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  • Posted March 24, 2014

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    The premise of the story is a good one. Maybelle is a woman with

    The premise of the story is a good one. Maybelle is a woman without many talents; however, her best friend, Doris, seems to be able to do most anything. There is a good bit about quilting, and a small group of women comprise a quilting bee. The quilt fills the long hours while the ladies wait for their husbands to return from the war.

    I did not enjoy this one. The slow pace of the novel frustrated me. It is repetitious. For example, the phrase, "Loose lips sink ships" is mentioned five times! In addition, better editing would weed out grammatical errors like, "... Logan approach Maybelle" (173).

    Discussion questions are included.

    Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my copy.

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  • Posted March 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Maybelle was content with her life, if not happy. Her husband Ho

    Maybelle was content with her life, if not happy. Her husband Holden was away at war in Europe, she was living with her Mom and
     working as a "Welderette" at the Shipyard. World War II had effected every part of her life. She was a tomboy through and through
    despite her mothers attempts to turn her into a housewife. When her mother unexpectedly dies, then her husband is listed as missing,
     she is forced to step into the role as "Lady of the House". Her friends are other military wives and widows, all doing their best under
    tough circumstances. Maybelle is nudged into making a quilt. Something she thought she would never do after a disastrous outcome
     in High School when she attempted to make a "simple" dress!
    This is a wonderful look inside the day to day lives of those left at home during WWII. From rationing, to service flags to visits from the
     military bearing bad news. 
    If you enjoy looking through the keyhole into lives of past eras, you will love this book!

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  • Posted March 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Maybelle in Stitches Quilts of Love Series by Joyce Magnin Maybe

    Maybelle in Stitches Quilts of Love Series by Joyce Magnin
    Maybelle and Holden were married before he headed off to the war. She is a welder and works on all kinds of ships for the war effort. She lives in a house with her mother and they have boarders that also work at the factory.
    Holden has written to her a few times and she is comforted by the quilt her mother made them for their wedding.
    Doris is there to comfort her as she loses her mother and then Maybelle gets word Holden is missing in action. The quilt her mother had started along with Doris' help has brought a calm to Maybelle's life as she pieces the past together in little pieces.
    Hope and her trust in God will see them all through....she just needs to find what she is good at and do it. So many disappointments in the past of things she was not able to do. Doris helps her make the big Thanksgiving dinner for everybody.
    Very interesting history of events. They also get news of Holden ... An excerpt from another Quilt of Love book is included.
    I received this book from Net Galley via Abingdon Press in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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