Book Beat – A Quilt for Jenna

Finally a World War II Amish book! When Patrick E. Craig told me about his story last year at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, I couldn’t wait to read A Quilt for Jenna.

In 1942, Reuben Springer went against the pacifist teachings of his Amish background and joined the US Marines, but the horrors of Guadalcanal – and the decisions he made there -haunt him. Several years later, when his young daughter dies, Reuben deserts his wife. Jerusha Springer is left all alone, mourning her child, abandoned by her husband, and cultivating bitterness toward God.

An accomplished quilter, she makes her best quilt yet – flamboyant and pridefully faultless – planning to use the prize money to escape the Amish community forever. However, an ice storm leads to a car wreck that sets her life, and the lives of others, on an unexpected path.

A touching tale of three people who have lost their way. In A Quilt for Jenna, Patrick E. Craig deftly contrasts the peaceful Amish lifestyle with the harsh World War II Guadalcanal battlefield, tied together with a lovely message of sacrifice, humility, and forgiveness. I was entranced.