A new Quilts of Love novel set in World War II brings us to Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle Kazinski is a welderette, along with other war brides working at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock in Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1943, a suburb of Philadelphia. The shipyard work went on every day around the clock, with the whistle announcing the change of shifts.
As they wait for supper to be ready, Maybelle and her friend, Doris, listen to the radio ~ Frank Sinatra, and "Stardust," a favorite song of Maybelle's husband, Holden. She just had his letters to hold. He shipped out the day after their wedding. With rationing of food, gasoline, and electricity, individual homes rented out rooms to others working at the shipyard; some more than to one, working different shifts. Roger, deferred from the army because of loss of hearing, rents a room from Maybelle and her mother, Francine. Doris has lived down the street from them since childhood. Encouraging her daughter and Doris to go to the Canteen for the evening, tired, Francine goes to bed early. That is the last they have a meal and time together. She passes away of a stroke before morning.
Maybelle has adjustments to make beyond what she thinks she is capable of ~ cooking, especially. How she will miss her mother and her care of the two of them. How will she manage, and with her husband somewhere in Europe? Receiving frequent letters from him, it has been almost two weeks since the last one.
While sorting through her mother's things, Maybelle finds fabric and remembrances from her childhood ~ swatches of memories ~ pieces of her deceased father's shirts, old curtains, all saved in a trunk. The beginning of quilt pieces stitched together lay near the bottom, along with scissors, thread, and cut shapes; a part of her baby blanket sewn in.
Deciding to rent out her mother's room, Maybelle puts up a notice in the break room at the yard. Roger says he knows of two women who do not want to commute during the winter months. As Doris and Maybelle begin working on more quilt squares, there is a knock at the door. Thinking it is the new renters, Maybelle goes to the door. A man in uniform is standing there, with a telegram. Private Holden Kazinski has been reported Missing in Action.
As women gather day-by-day, they uphold each other awaiting word of the war's end and the return of their loved ones; hopefully to their open arms.
Each generation awaits loved ones' return. During World War II, women helped in the defense plants to support the needs of those serving our country. This story is in conversational style between Doris and Maybelle as they encourage each other. A bright spot in any day, to be included and loved by those near with understanding. Author Joyce Magnin has brought the 1940s alive with its music and happenings in the war effort with those who wait.
Joyce Magnin is the author of the Brights Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Find out more about Joyce at quiltsoflovebooks.com
***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the book tour for Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin and to Abingdon Press for sending me a copy to review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Win a NEW Spring Wardrobe from @TheQuiltsofLove | “Maybelle in Stitches” Giveaway!
Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.
Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!
One winner will receive:
- A $200 ModCloth.com gift card
- Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
- A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
- Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin