Mar 22, 2012

The Key on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Enter a historic Nebraskan prison where three women find betrayal, love, and ultimate truth. Jane Prescott is serving a ten-year sentence for murder. Can a broken spirit be healed behind bars? Matron Mamie Dawson feels called to help the wounded women in her charge. Will a guard’s attentions keep her from her mission? Warden’s wife Ellen McKenna has changed her preconceptions about these female prisoners. Will it be enough to save her from a life-or-death situation? Will the cryptic quilt connecting their lives expose the truth of one woman’s past and ensure a better future for them all?

Stephanie Grace Whitson, bestselling author and two-time Christy finalist, pursues a full-time writing and speaking career from her home studio in southeast Nebraska. Her husband and blended family, her church, quilting, and Kitty--her motorcycle--all rank high on her list of "favorite things."

Visit her website at

ISBN: 9781616264420
Barbour Publishing, March 2012

The Key on the Quilt is book one in the new Quilt Chronicles series.  Book two is titled The Shadow on the Quilt and will be released in September 2012.

Following the lives of female inmates in prison in the 1870's was totally fascinating. Maybe I hadn't really thought about the need for a women's prison in those days. Times were so much simpler then, and the likelihood of women being charged with violent crimes was almost non-existent.

Jane was definitely my favorite character, incarcerated for ten years for killing her husband. Early in the story, I couldn't help but question whether she was really capable of murder.  She was a kind, generous and loving person, and somehow her crime didn't seem to fit.  Yet she was resolved to put in her time quietly and she was determined to not draw attention to herself.

Mamie, the prison warden on the women's floor, had prayed for God's will in her life, and then found herself working with women prisoners with some very difficult issues. Jane and Mamie came up with a plan to make things better for all the women. They decided to do more than just put in their time, but to work towards a better future for everyone.

As the story unfolds, the reasons for Jane's incarceration finally became evident, and I couldn't help but admire her strength and sacrifice. She quietly and lovingly did what she had to do, just to protect someone dear to her heart.

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to future books in this series.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley, courtesy of Barbour Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

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