The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs
March 29, 2011 by Mira
Hardcover, 400 Pages
Linda Davis’ local fabric shop is a place where women gather to share their creations: quilts commemorating important events in their lives. Wedding quilts, baby quilts, memorial quilts each is bound tight with dreams, hopes and yearnings.
Now, as her only child readies for college, Linda is torn between excitement for Molly, and heartache for herself. Who will she be when she is no longer needed in her role as mom? What will become of her days? Of her marriage?
Mother and daughter decide to share one last adventure together a cross-country road trip to move Molly into her dorm. As they wend their way through the heart of the country, Linda pieces together the scraps that make up Molly’s young life. And in the stitching of each bit of fabric the hem of a christening gown, a snippet from a Halloween costume Linda discovers that the memories of a shared journey can come together in a way that will keep them both warm in the years to come…
Motherhood: For many women this word means one thing but encapsulates many emotions, for many of us it means holding back things for ourselves and putting a child’s needs in front of our own, including even our own dreams. For some though, our dreams were always of being a mom and for Linda Davis her entire life since the birth of her daughter Molly has been just that. Her focus, her love and her life have been driven by being the best mom to her daughter. After 18 happy years, with its occasional adolescent ups and downs, Linda must see her daughter off to college. Letting go though is proving to be the hardest thing she’s ever faced, even harder than thinking about her own future, what meaning is left in her life or the stand still marriage waiting at home.
Over the process of the road trip with Molly, Linda is determined to face things head on, to trust that letting go of her daughter will open a new chapter to her life and for therapeutic reasons is making Molly a goodbye quilt. Each piece of fabric has a healing property one for memories, one for dreams, even ones for hope and sadness. The quilt while significant for Molly and holds her memories as well, is more for Linda as she pieces together the uncertainty of her life.
I really enjoyed this cute and sentimental novel that pulled at my heartstrings and reminded me of how precious the time is with my own children. While I really enjoyed reflecting back with Linda and seeing her work through her self-doubt and lack of hope, I felt that the relationships took a strong backseat on this road trip, making this story cute but really not deep or thought provoking. I would have loved to have seen Mollys POV in the novel, I think that would have added some more flair to the book, however after reading Wiggs writing journey with this particular book (posted below) I understand why the focus was on Linda. I would surly recommend this to anyone who likes tender hearted stories with an uplifting message or for anyone looking for a light read on a beach day. It’s simple, has a very sweet end and was written with good feely goodness.
...the journey to college is a rite of passage we mark as a joyous occasion, one we celebrate by buying luggage and books on how to find a fulfilling life. But really, if you ask any mother, shell tell you that deep down, we want to mark it as a loss, a funeral of sorts. We never show our sorrow though. Our sadness stays in the shadows like something slightly shameful......pg. 22
The Goodbye Quilt is a fun and clean read, recommended to mature teens and adults alike. Contains: Mother/daughter relationships, teen romance, life dreams and hopes.
3/5- Contemporary Fiction
Thanks to Mira and Eric Glover for review copy.