Author: Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington Books, 2012
If you are enticed into reading this book pay special attention when you are looking for it as the title is fairly common, but the books are written by various authors. When I looked on Amazon some of them appeared to be a bit racy…or perhaps even more than a bit. This particular one has a sub-title of “A Cobbled Court Quilts Novel,” which does not say racy in any language.
It is still mighty hot around here even if the calendar says summer is over so there is still time for a nice summer read. And I would say this book qualifies in many ways, though it would probably be as great a read on a chilly winter day best spent by the fire. I won’t even begin to imply it is anything but a woman’s book. I cannot think of a single man who would give this even a passing glance. The sub-title should have clued you in pretty quickly to that fact. It is a book that is full of love and comfort.
Though there are various characters who appear often in the story the two that carry this lovely story along are Margot and Philippa. Margot is a single woman of forty who has never quite found the perfect man. She has not given up hope entirely but she has more or less accepted the fact that he just might not ever appear and that she can make a life for herself without one, as long as she has the support of her many girlfriends. She works in a quilting shop and the women whose lives revolve around quilting have become her family. She is also very active in the church in her small town of New Bern, Connecticut, whose members offer much more than just spiritual support.
One day she is given the tragic news that her sister, Mira, who had been alienated from her parents and whom she has invited for the holidays, has been involved in a horrible accident, leaving her near death, and her daughter in a coma. When Mira dies, Margot finds out that her sister’s last wishes were that she, Margot, should take over the raising of her daughter, Olivia. Margot’s parents want no part in such an arrangement and are determined to take over Olivia’s care to the extent that they will fight Margot in court for that right.
Philippa, whose minister father, Philip Clarkson, is very well known for his inspiring sermons, has recently accepted the position of interim minister to Margot’s church in New Bern. It turns out that she has been hired by accident. The board had no idea she was a woman. They thought they were hiring Philip A. Clarkson, the son of Reverend Clarkson, assuming that the acorn would not have fallen far from the tree. They were more than a little surprised, and in some cases upset, when Philippa arrived. Especially when they found out that she not only was not a man but had been adopted by the Clarksons, so who knows what tree she had not fallen far from? Even Philippa herself has some question as to her ability to live up to the reputation her father made for himself. She knows she can do a good job at the ministry part of the job but is less sure of her ability to inspire through her sermons. She also has a secret that she is not yet ready to share with the parishioners, fearful that they will be less thrilled with the news than she.
Enter a new young lawyer with his teenage son and the story becomes even more interesting. Margot is soon quite taken with Paul, but is convinced, most incorrectly, that he is not equally smitten with her but, instead, has his eye on Philippa. Thus she continually gives him the cold shoulder despite his repeated overtures.
As you can see there is a lot going on and it is all wrapped in the love and comfort of the people in both the church and the quilting shop. If you like a nice warm story, as I do, you are going to enjoy every minute of Ties That Bind.
In the next issue of the Coastal Breeze News you will have the pleasure of reading Book Remarks written by my new partner in crime, Margaret Gust. After writing 33 columns I decided it was time to ask for a little help. (It is not the writing that is hard. It is finding the right book to write about that is time consuming.) Margaret has most graciously accepted my invitation to share her viewpoint. For those of you who enjoy biographies and non-fiction you will find a person who will direct you to some pretty interesting writing. She and I will be alternating weeks on the column. We hope you like the new way of bringing you some of the books we consider worth your time.
Diane Bostick has lived on Marco Island since 1987. She was the Founder and President of Ft. Myers chapter of the Association of Children with Learning Disabilities, President of Jr. Welfare League, Ft. Myers Chapter, and served on the board of Art League of Marco Island. She is an avid reader, fly fisherwoman, tennis player and crafter.