Title: A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California
Author: Erica Vetsch
Publisher: Barbour Books
The timeframe is WW1 and the place Nettles, California, as the story begins. Along the railroad lines, the Harvey Girls work to take care of customers quickly and efficiently. The soldiers get good meals on the stops between train stations before ending up aboard a ship bound for France. Harvey Girls work nonstop, taking care of customers or preparing the dining rooms before the next train rolls in.
While most men went to the front, women worked to take care of families and neighbors until their return. Caleb is one man who doesn’t fight in the war, and he is spurned ruthlessly by the town for what many consider cowardice. Yet, he trains the horses that will eventually end up in the battlefield. Caleb never speaks a harsh word or repays evil words or actions done to him. Is there something he refuses to tell people as to why he isn’t on the front lines fighting?
Meghan wants to spread her wings and earn money outside the shelter of her parent’s home. Her father wants her to stay close to home, since her brother Lars is already gone battling in France. With help from her mother, she boards a train with dreams and desires. Will she be able to learn to take orders? Natalie is Meghan’s roommate and is suffering from the heat and more. She sends back money to help with doctor bills, but whose bills is she covering? When a predicament presents itself and its’ life-changing consequences, what will she do with her hidden secret?
In a different novel, I learned about the flu epidemic that happened during the WW1, which is also included in this novel as well. Fighting to make ends meet and just having daily needs met meant everyone had to be willing to do whatever they could. When disaster strikes, it is amazing that what divides people and towns is suddenly shown for the shallowness that it is.
Many characters in this story have to learn to allow God to break down the walls that surround their hearts as well as their pride. Different occurrences and circumstances happen in the fictional lives, which see some choosing to build walls around their hearts in response to the hurt they receive. In some of the interactions that occur in the story, I am reminded of a verse that says, “Greater love has no man than this that he lays down his life for his friend.” We may think that certainly applies to the many who laid down their lives in the war. However, it isn’t the only way to show the greater love. We can lay down our lives by choosing to fight wrong thoughts and actions in society, which some do in this work of fiction.
The Red Cross is brought up as a society that many women participated in to help ease the discomforts of the soldiers. A quilt is made with names sewn on a patch if the donor gave a small amount that went for a huge need overseas. Who makes the quilt? How much money is the person trying to raise for the Red Cross and for what exact purpose?
I sure hope you take time to read this work of fiction that has a flavor of history within its pages. It is enjoyable and filled with a variety of characters, themes, and more.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457