Sophie Deiner left her Amish community of Nappanee, Indiana three years ago. Now living as “Englisch” in Elkhart, she is battling Lupus Nephritis. A recent flare-up makes her doctor suggest she take a couple weeks off work and rest. Sophie decides to go back to Nappanee to stay with her parents. When she left, she never said goodbye, because she left under very unusual circumstances. Will they accept her back now?
Sophie’s mom Catherine is very cold towards her, but her dad welcomes her with open arms. She makes friends with Jane Berger, owner of the local quilt and fabric shop, writer for the local newspaper and gardener extraordinaire. Jane’s garden has exploded this year with more produce than she can keep up with. She and Sophie devise a plan for a community canning, so that the vegetables don’t go to waste. Jane tells Sophie a story of a distant relative who lived in Nappanee during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and actually witnessed it first-hand. Sophie feels much like this relative, not comfortable with the Amish way of life … wanting something more. During her stay, will the real truth come out about Sophie’s leaving three years ago? Will she decide to stay this time, as she is more and more accepted in the community?
A PATCHWORK PAST by Leslie Gould is the second book in her Plain Patterns series. It’s a story about trusting God for guidance through your everyday life. Sophie Deiner is a strong, realistic character who has a passion for people and their struggles. There is quite a mix of supporting characters who help to move the storyline along through the ups and downs of all that Sophie is struggling with. This is a story about prejudice and appearances, about healing and restoration, and about belonging. Ms. Gould does an excellent job of bringing in the immigration issue as it relates to today, as well as in the past years of our country. We all have a patchwork past that we need to learn from to be able to grow and change. If you enjoy Amish fiction, this is a great one to read!
When wild child Sophie Deiner--the daughter of an Amish bishop--is forced to return to Nappanee, Indiana, quilt-shop owner Jane Berger is one of only a few who welcome her back. It's the last place she wants to be, but Sophie's recent illness requires that she recover for a while.
As Sophie heals, she befriends a group of migrant workers and is appalled to learn of the wretched living conditions they're forced to endure. Sophie begins advocating on their behalf, but soon finds herself opposed by an ex-boyfriend who is the farm foreman.
Jane begins relating the story of an Amish couple who rescued survivors of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many of whom were Irish immigrants. And Sophie is more convinced than ever that she needs to fight for the powerless. But when digging deeper makes conditions even worse, has she chosen a fight she can't win?