"Thank God For Your Memories"
Reviewed by Susan Dyer
Posted March 30, 2013
Literature and Fiction Literary
FOR LOVE OF ELI by Loree Lough is the fourth book in the
Quilt of Love
series, but it can be read as a stand alone. ï¿½This one is
about the Memory
Quilt which is being ï¿½made to help Eli remember his parents
passed away. ï¿½Eli is being raised by his Aunt Taylor and he
other weekend with his Uncle Reese. ï¿½All of their lives are
so much grief. ï¿½Taylor lost her parents when a tornado came
leveled the church they were in. She lost her husband early
marriage as well. ï¿½Eli lost his Dad in Afghanistan and his
Mom and ï¿½her
battle with depression and grief ï¿½to drugs and alcohol. ï¿½His
was Reece's sister and at first, Reece was very upset that
she left Eli to
Taylor to raise and not him, her own flesh and blood. ï¿½But
over time, he
learns the real reason why she did that. He completely
Reece is a pediatrician and is having a hard time dealing
with the fact that
he didn't see his sister's depression until it was too late.
ï¿½He still blames
Taylor's brother, Eliot, who was Eli's Dad, for his sister's
couldn't he love his family enough to not sign up for
another tour of duty? ï¿½
Why couldn't he have just stayed home and been a Dad to Eli
husband to Margo? ï¿½ He has always been attracted to Taylor
away because of anger at her brother. ï¿½The only way for
Reece to move
forward is to learn to forgive and let go of the past.
ï¿½Taylor can't move
forward until she lets go of her guilt and together, maybe
they can see the
true feelings that they have for each other. ï¿½
FOR LOVE OF ELI is a beautifully written book and I love how
weaves all of the characters's stories together. ï¿½It is a
quick read full of lots
of raw emotion, love, and lessons. ï¿½Loree makes the
characters very real
for you and it almost feels as if you know them on a
personal level. ï¿½ An
awesome read that I will recommend to my friends.ï¿½
When unspeakable tragedy leaves young Eli an orphan, two
families are devastated. But Taylor, Eli's aunt and legal
guardian, vows to help him remember his parents by creating
a Memory Quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments
of his parents' lives, the story of the young family emerges
and Taylor and Eli begin to heal. But Eli's uncle Reece is
slow to let go of the past and still blames Taylor's brother
for his sister's death. So, although he has long been
attracted to Taylor, Reece keeps a safe distance away. Can
their shared love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness or
will Taylor and Reece be separated by pain?
Crouching, Taylor held Eli's face in her hands. "Have a
great time," she said, kissing his forehead, "and I'll see
you on Sunday."
She didn't remind Eli to brush his teeth and take his
vitamins. Didn't tell him to get to bed on time or zip his
jacket if he went outside, the way his buddies claimed their
exes did. Taylor's behavior wasn't anything new; Connor had
witnessed this cheery demeanor every other Friday. Her
relaxed behavior and positive words told Eli that not only
was he in good hands with his uncle, but that she would be
fine while he was gone. It told Reece something, too: If his
buddies' had exes like Taylor, they probably wouldn't be exes.
He realized that Eli had been watching him and Taylor.
Left brow up and right eye narrowed, the better word was
scrutinize. Oh to know what was going on in that remarkable
little brain, Reece thought, grinning. He didn't have to
wonder long, because Eli chose that moment to slap a palm
over his eyes. "Oh good grief. If you're gonna kiss her,
just get it over with, will ya please?"
Taylor's gasp echoed in the big foyer. She looked
sweeter and prettier than usual—if that was
possible—blushing like a schoolgirl as one hand shaded
her eyes. Reece felt obliged to get her off the hook.
Putting put both hands on Eli's shoulders, he turned him
toward the front door. "Grab your backpack, little nut, and
let's get a–move on." But even as he said it, Reece
knew that his words got him off the hook, too, because for a
weird minute there, the kid's suggestion sounded mighty
Without skipping a beat, Eli asked permission to bring
his ninja soldiers. "I know right where they are," he said,
looking up at Reece. "It won't take me long to get them. And
they're little, so they'll fit in my bag, no problem."
Reece looked to Taylor for guidance on that one, because
she'd bought the toy soldiers.
"Of course you can bring them, if—"
Eli was halfway up the stairs before she finished with
"—if it's all right with your uncle." Then she
laughed, making Reece wonder why he'd never noticed before
how much music there was in every sound that passed her
"I hope he doesn't bring them all," she said, "because
he has dozens of those crazy things."
Reece pictured the overflowing toy box in his family
room, and the one just like it up in Eli's room. "And
She nodded. "And Hot Wheels."
"Right. They're everywhere." He chuckled. "Like crayons."
"Oh, no kidding! I mean, seriously, does Crayola intend
to replicate every color in the entire world?"
"Sure seems that way, doesn't it. And if they do, no
doubt Eli will want every shade."
Smalltalk. Usually, he did his best to avoid it. Today?
Reece didn't know what to make of the fact that he was
actually enjoying it.
Two ninjas tumbled down the stairs, and right behind
them, a fat red crayon that stopped rolling when it bumped
into the baseboard, right where the sewing basket had sat,
earlier. He remembered thinking that it looked a lot like
the one his grandmother used to keep in her spare bedroom,
right down to the little wooden balls that served as feet.
"Looks like our boy is conducting a search and rescue
mission up there," Taylor said, rescuing the toys.
Our boy. It surprised him a little, but Reece liked the
sound of that. "You'd think there was a herd of elephants up
there instead of one small boy," he said with a glance at
"Makes you wonder about the guy who coined the phrase
'pitter–patter of little feet'?"
He laughed. "Yeah. If he'd ever met a real live kid,
he'd know it's more like drumbeats."
"Or the thunder of horses' hooves."
They were laughing when Eli raced down the stairs and
stood between them, clutching half a dozen ninjas and a
handful of crayons to his chest. "What's so funny?" he
asked, looking from Reece to Taylor and back again.
"Well, first of all," Taylor began, touching a fingertip
to Eli's nose, "how many times have I asked you not to run
in the house?"
Shoulders slumped, he exhaled a heavy sigh, then droned
"About a hundred thousand million."
Squatting, Reece said "A hundred thousand million, eh?
That's a lot of times." Winking, he gently chucked the boy's
chin. "So how 'bout if we quit running indoors, then, 'cause
it'd be a shame for that number to reach a hundred thousand
million and one."
Grinning, Eli said "Okay" and stuffed the toys into his
backpack. When he finished, he slung the bag over one
shoulder. "So where's your sewing kit?"
"Upstairs, where it belongs," she said, blushing and
looking a bit like a kid, caught with her hand in the
proverbial cookie jar.
"You gonna hem my new jeans while I'm gone?"
A longsuffering groan escaped Eli's lungs. "Ugh," he
said to Reece, "she's doing it again...."
One hand on the screen door, he said "Doing what?"
"That 'I know something you don't know' thing that girls
always, always do." Then he faced Taylor. "Okay. So let me
have it: What's 'second of all?'"
Taylor hugged him again, longer and tighter this time.
"Well, I'm sure your uncle has a mountain of toys for you
over at his place. Those crayons will probably only get
broken in that overstuffed bag of yours. Or lost on the
floor of his car, where they'll melt in the hot sun and mess
up his mats."
"Good point." He found all but one and dropped them
into the cup Taylor made of her upturned palms. "See you
Sunday," he said, popping a kiss to her cheek. "Don't poke
yourself with a needle or anything, 'k?"
She followed them onto the porch, and promised to be
And something told Reece that he'd see her
lop–sided grin and that goofy crayon–fisted
goodbye wave in his dreams.
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