Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2013
When runaway slaves bring Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, she decides she must defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse. Taking comfort from her mother's mysterious goodbye gift of quilt blocks, she sews them together and discovers a hidden message in the pattern. Will it spur forgiveness and healing? 240 pages, softcover from Abingdon.
A Heartbeat Away is a book in the “Quilts of Love” series. This book takes place during the Civil War and centers around a young woman named Beth Bumgartner. Due to a terrible accident when she was younger, she suffers from a noticeable limp, but that doesn’t stop her from assisting her grandmother with wounded soldiers. Though she is a loyal to the Union, she finds herself nursing both Union and Confederate men. She finds herself particularly drawn to a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, but is afraid to let her guard down around him. Throughout the story, she struggles with her relationship with God, stemming from her accident which left her crippled, and seeing the war going on around her. But as she begins to work on the quilt pieces her mother has given her, she begins to find a hidden message of faith and hope.
I love stories that take place during the Civil War. This was a great story, and I loved how the quilt symbolized hope, just by piecing together pieces of fabric. That is just amazing to me. I also liked how she was able to let down her prejudices to help not only Joe, but other Confederate soldiers in need.
Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers