Friday, March 14, 2014

A Sky without Stars (Quilts of Love series) by Linda S. Clare

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book  blogger campaign and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


About the Book: (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)

In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father's killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Vandergriff, a half-Lakota who's also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren't all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

About the Author: Linda S. Clare is an award-winning coauthor of three books, including Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them(with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp), Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, and Making Peace with a Dangerous God (with Kristen Johnson Ingram). She is also the author of The Fence My Father Built. She has taught college-level creative writing classes for seven years, and edits and mentors writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter and church retreat leader. She and her husband of thirty-one years have four grown children, including a set of twins. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their five wayward cats: Oliver, Xena the Warrior Kitty, Paladine, Melchior, and Mamma Mia!

Learn more about Linda at:

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Format: trade paperback
Genre: Christian, Historical, Fiction, Light Romance

Source: Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign 

Published: Abingdon Press / $13.99 / 2014 / ISBN:978-1-4267-5279-7

Stalk the Author: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the Book:  Abingdon Press / Christianbook / Quilts Of Love site

Why I Read this Book:  When I first read the synopsis for this story, I realized that it focused on Native American culture and the maltreatment of the various tribes that continues to this day.  I wanted to learn more about their struggles and the significance of the Lakota star Frankie was creating in her quilt.

What I Liked:  We first meet Frankie and her son, Harold, broken down on the side of the road with no help in sight, but the last gas station they passed.  Making their way back to the gas station to get water for their radiator, we get a glimpse of the harsh life Frankie has had to endure, and even more of a look when she has a run-in with the station's owner and his son.

The realistic portrayal of the prejudice against the Native Americans by the "white men (and women)"  grabbed me from the start.  I grew up in New Mexico and remember visiting one of the Reservations so we could "see how the Indians lived."  I remember playing on the monkey bars with the other students and listening to their stories, but I also remember the comments made between our teachers and theirs--let's just say there was not a lot of love between them.  The tension was high and I don't remember us ever going back on a field trip.  

Reading about Frankie's distrust of all men, including the alcoholism that was rampant among the men in her tribe, really opened my eyes to the issues she faced in trying to raise her son as a single Native American parent.  I loved that she had to learn to trust and lean on other people for help since she was unable to provide and make ends meet on her own.  It showed her strength, as well as her helplessness, which eventually led her to rely on "the white man's God."

Overall, it was a great story about struggles and the power of hope and love.

What I Didn't Like:  I would have liked to learn more about the various tribal cultures-especially since several different ones were represented among the characters.  I think it would have brought a richer depth to the story, but then I love to learn about different cultures, so it's probably just me.

Overall Impression:  
If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a heartwarming story, then A Sky without Stars is the book for you!  What are you waiting for?  Go get this book!

Rating: 3 out of 5 

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading! 

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Quilts of Love Linda S Clair A Sky Without Stars

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