Passing on the Comfort: The War, the Quilts and the Women Who Made a Difference

Passing on the Comfort: The War, the Quilts and the Women Who Made a Difference

by An Keuning-Tichelaar, Lynn Kaplanian-Buller
     
 


The memoir of two women brought together by a collection of worn quilts and the history they hold. Terrible odds, determined women. Quilts, well-worn from having been called into active duty.

This is a story with many parts and pieces, quite scattered in the beginning. Amazingly, the many pieces have come together to form a design that none of us imagined at

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Overview


The memoir of two women brought together by a collection of worn quilts and the history they hold. Terrible odds, determined women. Quilts, well-worn from having been called into active duty.

This is a story with many parts and pieces, quite scattered in the beginning. Amazingly, the many pieces have come together to form a design that none of us imagined at first. First there is An in Holland in the early 1940s, fighting to keep the War from taking over her young, promising life. Met with unspeakable horrors, she takes risks that would confound the bravest of souls. At the same time, groups of women across North America meet in sewing circles, making quilts—and then bundling them up and sending them off to do their part to give comfort and courage and respite during the War.

I, Lynn, come 20-some years later, showing up in Amsterdam in the early 1970s, a little rebellious and tired of another war. I didn't know An, and quilts were not something I ever made. But my grandmother and aunts, and other older women in my childhood church, did. And I knew an immigrant's longing for the textures of home. We have scattered images of 19 quilts, which eventually emerge near the heart of this story, throughout the book. These quilts drew An and me to each other. We'll put this story together a little like a quilt top—here a patch, there a patch, until the design emerges, startlingly cohesive. Terrible odds. Determined women. Quilts, well-worn from having been called into active duty.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Packed into under 200 pages is the powerful narrative of a Dutch resistance operation during WWII conducted by Keuning-Tichelaar and her husband, Herman, a Mennonite minister. With the support of their townspeople, the two young newlyweds sheltered and saved the lives of Jewish adults and children, and others in danger from the Nazis. As part of a relief effort, quilts were created by women in North American Mennonite circles and sent to the Netherlands. Beautifully illustrated with 19 color photographs of the quilts, this book describes in an understated voice the harrowing events and the daily acts of courage that Keuning-Tichelaar undertook. When, decades later, coauthor Kaplanian-Buller, a U.S. citizen living in Amsterdam, found the old quilts, she persuaded An to share her story. But Kaplanian-Buller also weaves in her own story: married to a Palestinian, she strains for multicultural relevance, but this is An's inspiring story and the focus should have remained on her. Although the intention was for the joined narratives to resemble a patchwork quilt, the result is frequently confusing, with far too many details. (June) FYI: A quilt exhibit supported by the Mennonite Central Committee will travel around the U.S. along with this book's publication. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561484829
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
04/28/2005
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
186
Product dimensions:
7.12(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.50(d)

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