Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias

The Moses Quilt is a contemporary novel that bridges racial and generational divides. With a realistic and compassionate look into a twenty-first-century dilemma, multiple award-winning author Kathi Macias introduces readers to a confused and apprehensive young woman, Mazie Hartford. Facing major decisions about the love of her life and her future, she must also wrestle with a nagging question about her family's past. She finds the answer to her questions in a most unexpected way—her great-grandmother's Moses quilt. As her great-grandmother begins to explain how each patch represents a story of courage and freedom, Mazie must decide if she has the courage and freedom to overcome her own personal fears and prejudices. (publisher's description)

I did like the book, but have mixed feelings about it. Starting with the negative: the book was a bit slow paced, and inter-racial relationships aren't all that controversial. I am from Alabama, and we are stereo-typed as being prejudiced but things have changed tremendously over the years. Of course it is still an issue, but it seemed odd to me that she would be seriously dating someone if she was as afraid to commit to marriage simply due to race. I was also puzzled over why the quilt was hidden away and kept secret for so many years.


On the positive: all of the characters were likeable and Mimi was precious. The story of Harriet Tubman was fascinating and covered much more than I remember learning in history class many years ago. I especially loved the way the quilt was used, one square at a time, to tell the story of this courageous woman who clung to her faith and her desire for the slaves to be set free. Her determination to overcome many barriers, and to risk her own life and freedom to help others, is a story that should be told and retold to our children and future generations.



The Moses Quilt  is the first of 3 books in Kathi Macias' Quilt Series. Watch the video below to see all of the stories. All 3 are about absolutely fascinating women and I hope to read them all.




GIVEAWAY: Now that I have read the book, I want to pass my copy on to another reader. Please leave a comment (preferably in a comment on the blog) to enter a random drawing to be held March 2, 2013.


Disclaimer:
I received this book free from Christian Speakers Services in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
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As an added bonus, here is an interview with author, Kathi Macias:

The Quilt Series sounds interesting, but what makes it unique or sets it apart from the many other quilt books that are so popular right now?
First, I must confess to NOT being a quilter. I’ve never even considered taking it up! Second, I love quilts and have always been fascinated by the stories behind them. I combined that fascination with my passion for writing issues-related fiction, and I ended up with a three-book series that is, for the most part, contemporary but told against historical backdrops.

Sounds interesting! Can you tell us a bit about each of the three books in the series? Sure! Book one, The Moses Quilt, involves an interracial romance, where the couple works through their concerns and apprehensions as they learn the story of Harriet Tubman’s faith and courage as told through the patches of the Moses quilt that represents her life. Book two, The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt, deals with the topic of abortion told against the backdrop of the life of America’s first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, who was strongly pro-life. Book three, The Singing Quilt, deals with a young woman overcoming a physical disability; the background for that story is based on the “Queen of Gospel,” Fannie Crosby.

Was it difficult to do the research on these women, particularly Harriet Tubman? What did you learn about her in the process? I knew more about Harriet Tubman than I did about Elizabeth Blackwell or Fannie Crosby, but I expanded my knowledge of each as I did the research. Harriet Tubman’s amazing faith and courage is what stood out most to me about her life. Here was a woman born a slave, penniless for the majority of her life, and illiterate except for the scripture verses she had memorized (even if she couldn’t read them). Her prayer life was powerful, even as a child. After she escaped to the North and began making forays back into the South to help bring others out of slavery, friends would caution her against it. “Harriet, there’s a reward on your head—dead or alive. Aren’t you afraid?” She brushed off their fear and explained that she believed God had called her to help rescue her people; therefore, He would protect her. When her job was done, He would take her home to heaven, so what was there to fear? Wow, what a dynamic woman of God! I also learned that her achievements went far beyond rescuing slaves, though that’s what she’s best known for. She also served as a spy for the Union Army, worked as a nurse, and opened a home for indigent elderly former slaves. She died there herself in her mid-nineties, and the entire town flew their flags at half-mast in her honor.

Tell us a little more about the contemporary story in The Moses Quilt. The majority of the contemporary story is set just outside San Francisco. Mazie is white and deeply in love with Edward, an African-American lawyer who adores her and wants to marry her but tries to be respectful of her hesitation to make a commitment. What he doesn’t know is that Mazie is disturbed by what she considers secrets in her family’s past, secrets that begin to be unraveled as her great-grandmother, Mimi, tells her and Edward the story behind her Moses quilt, which she bought years earlier in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a little town famous for its quilts. Edward thought he knew everything there was to know about Harriet Tubman, who had always been somewhat of a hero to him, but Mimi’s story opens up new avenues of discovery for both the young people in this relationship—and takes them straight back to the quilt’s origin in Gee’s Bend.

This sounds like more than just a “feel-good” story. Can it be used as a study book in some way? Absolutely! As with nearly all my books we have free downloadable discussion questions at www.newhopedigital.com that will enable The Moses Quilt to be read as a study book for individuals or used as a discussion/study book for groups.

3 comments:

Christian Speakers Services said...

Thank you for posting THE MOSES QUILT by Kathi Macias on your blog! We are celebrating BLACK HISTORY MONTH as well. What a perfect book to do so and help people understand the story of Harriet Tubman and how she fought for racial equality. For more opportunities to be selected for a FREE copy of this book, please visit:
https://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.

Blessings and joy,
Karen Power
Owner
Christian Speakers Services
CSS Virtual Book Tours
http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com

Chad and Kristy said...

Chad could use this for his class:)

Amy C said...

I cannot wait to read this story! Harriet Tubman is a fascinating woman.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com