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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
It is November of 1950 in Apple Creek, Ohio, and Amish-born Jerusha Springer has finished a perfect Rose of Sharon quilt to take to the Dalton Fair. Jerusha plans on selling the quilt and using the sale money to run away from her Amish religion and her belief in God. Jerusha had married her true love, Reuben Springer, who had come back into the Amish faith in order to marry Jerusha. Jerusha and Reuben become the parents of a lovely little girl, Jenna, but Jenna dies of meningitis in the hospital, leaving Jerusha and Reuben heartbroken. Reuben has not been himself since he and good friend Bobby Halverson served in the Pacific in World War II, and after Jenna's tragic death, Reuben runs away, leaving money behind for Jerusha. Jerusha, now alone, gets "Englisch"(not Amish) neighbor Henry Lowenstein to drive her to the fair, but a blizzard stops them after Henry's car skids off the road. Jerusha is alone with her perfectly-made quilt and her thoughts of what her grandmother had told her long ago, "You have been given a way to give back to the Lord as He has given to you. It is a special gift not everyone is given. But to whom much is given, much is required." (p.113) But Jerusha has lost her beloved daughter Jenna to death and her husband Reuben has run away. How will she ever go on?
"A Quilt for Jenna" by Patrick Craig is a delightful story of healing and renewal that will please Christian readers everywhere. Jerusha and Reuben Springer are well developed characters and even the secondary characters are realistic and believable and add to the story line. "A Quilt for Jenna" is the first story in the 'Apple Creek Dreams series' and readers everywhere will enjoy and be inspired by this book and its sequels.