Barbara's Reviews > The Quilt Walk

The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas
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Aug 09, 12

bookshelves: abusive-relationships, animals, bullies, community, families, friendship, quilts, travel
Read in August, 2012

In the 1860s ten-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett accompanies her father and mother as they leave their farm in Quincy, Illinois, for Golden, Colorado where he plans to establish businesses to supply the goldminers' needs. The journey is far from easy, even at the start as Emmy's mother and aunt must make difficult choices about what to take and what to leave behind. Although Emmy is excited about the adventure, she is also surprised at how dangerous the trip is, and how quickly luck can turn from good to bad. What makes this book unique and adds to its appeal is its strong feminist slant. Although Mrs. Hatchett dutifully follows her husband's wishes to head west, she always puts her foot down at various points and asserts her wishes. As Emmy and the rest of her party watch how the abusive, ill-tempered husband of Mrs. Bonner treats her--she constantly sports another bruise or sprain--they realize that they must find a way for her to escape. Throughout the story, Emmy works on piecing together the parts of a small quilt her grandmother gave her when she left Illinois, a task she hates at first, but comes to enjoy in some ways, while many of the other women work on their own quilts along the way. The idea of making something beautiful and filled with memories out of scraps of fabric is a powerful theme that is threaded throughout the storyline. While some of the adventures Emmy has over the course of the journey seem unlikely, there is still much here to engage readers. I wish the book had given a stronger sense of the passage of time as the settlers moved toward the Rockies. At times, it was hard for me to gauge how long all this was taking.
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