In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books - faith, community, simplicity, family - with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt.
When two women - one Amish, one English - each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer.
Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.
©2011 Vannetta Chapman (P)2011 Zondervan
No plot spoilers please!
I enjoyed this book as an easy summer listen. Positive, happy in the face of difficulties, and strong community feelings empower this light story that engages but does not stress the listener. I really enjoy quilt shops and quilting so I could relate easily to the background story. If you are not interested in quilting you might not find enough here to hold your interest. As always I like Pam Wards reading style--she does a good job evoking the country homey tone of the book. Glad I gave it a try.
Carrie Fancett Pagels
Callie is a young widow who comes to Shippshewanna after her beloved aunt dies. Auntie owned a quilt shop and several Amish women are reliant upon her to sell their quilts. One of the women has a significant need for the funds as she has a child with a rare illness. Callie is a spunky woman from a big city in Texas suddenly in small town Indiana. A real fish out of water. But as the story progresses one senses she was a goldfish swimming in the ocean who needed to be in a tank, required the cozy closeness that provided. Lovely job of dropping that into the story over time. The Amish quilters are lovely women, each with distinct voices that are also unlike most other Amish stories I have heard.
Callie hasn’t gotten over the loss of her husband, in fact doesn’t even share this with her new friends until very late in the book. She is an endearing character despite her prickly behavior, which furthers the story line, especially when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. This is not a romance but there are a couple of romantic possibilities. By the end of the story we have a real possibility for a boyfriend in the next book, which I am looking forward to reading/listening to!
This was a great Christmas season listen because it a) has an easy tempo b) has an excellent narrator (amazingly she sounds almost exactly like the real Vannetta Chapman!) c) it’s like having a girlfriend in your room with you telling you the story d) while it is a suspense/mystery it has a cozy feel and is not knuckle whitening – I mean who needs that this time of year? It has a soothing quality to it despite the suspense and the murder mystery. It may be one of the first women’s fiction reads I’ve read in a long time, but Vannetta’s book almost defies genres.
I plan to listen to this book again sometime as I really liked it and it has the qualities of a repeat listen - great voice, characterization, and pleasing story line.
Bibliotherapy: Loneliness, estrangement, grieving, child with a rare disease, and friendships.
Formats: I listened through http://audible.com and it is available in paperback, ebook (e.g., Kindle), and audio.
The characters in this book were blended so well and written so clearly that they really came to life for me. The performance was so well executed I found myself laughing part of the time just by her delivery.
I loved the book. It was a charming respite to go to in turbulant times. Quiet yet entertaining, especially in the familiar world of fibre art.
I would definatley buy another title in this series.
I enjoyed the entire book. While the narrator did a good job with the story and characters, her voice sounds much older than the main characters age. My mind kept picturing the main character in her 50's or 60's, rather than in her late 20's. A case of character and voice don't match.
I personally always enjoy Amish stories, this one is particularly pleasing because characters are mixes with "English" and Amish, so one is not overwhelmed by Amish practices. Neat book for a change of pace, plus it involves some craft and mystery.
Mix in a friendly Amish community, four close knit quilters, a sad /lonely newcomer woman 'Englisher'whose just inherited the town's quilt shop, and mix in a little Agatha Christie, a bit more of God's Word, some heroes and bad guys, and you have this five store mystery called "Falling to Pieces" by Vannetta Chapman. I am SO glad it's the first in a three book series because I really want more of this great community!! Though God's word explained a great deal in this story, I believe that His "All things work for good for them that love the Lord" was not mentioned , though I believe it summed up this story perfectly! Looking forward to reading more of the development between these interesting folks and how quilts, friendships, and God Will go to make up Vannetta's next mystery. A surprisingly terrific read---recommend it highly!!
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