Title: Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick
Cobbled Court Quilts Series Prequel
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 369 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this luminous prequel to her beloved Cobbled Court Quilts series, New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick takes readers into the heart of a small Texas town and the soul of a woman who discovers her destiny there…
Welcome to Too Much—where the women are strong-willed and the men are handsome yet shiftless. Ever since Mary Dell Templeton and her twin sister Lydia Dale were children, their Aunt Velvet has warned them away from local boys. But it’s well known that the females in Mary Dell’s family have two traits in common—superior sewing skills and a fatal weakness for men.
While Lydia Dale grows up petite and pretty, Mary Dell just keeps growing. Tall, smart, and sassy, she is determined to one day turn her love of sewing into a business. Meanwhile, she’ll settle for raising babies with her new husband, Donny. But that dream proves elusive too, until finally, Mary Dell gets the son she always wanted—a child as different as he is wonderful. And as Mary Dell is forced to reconsider what truly matters in her family and her marriage, she begins to piece together a life that, like the colorful quilts she creates, will prove vibrant, rich, and absolutely unforgettable…
Between Heaven and Texas, Marie Bostwick’s standalone prequel to the Cobbled Court Quilts series, is as heartwarming as it is inspiring. It is also an uplifting novel about the importance of family and finding the strength to overcome adversity.
Twin sisters Mary Dell and Lydia Dale are as different as night and day but they both fall for the Bebee brothers. Mary Dell marries Donny Bebee and settles on the family ranch while Lydia Dale marries local boy Jack Benny Benton after Graydon Bebee is mistakenly declared dead while serving in Vietnam. Mary Dell and Donny’s marriage is happy despite her inability to carry a pregnancy to term. Lydia Dale and Jack Benny’s marriage is tumultuous and ends in divorce while Lydia Dale is pregnant with their third child. The entire family is ecstatic when Mary Dell finally gives birth to her son, but their happiness is threatened by unexpected news.
Mary Dell is a richly developed, vibrant character. She is a tenacious and strong-willed woman who never gives up no matter what obstacle stands in her way. Her sense of style is outrageous but Mary Dell knows what she likes and she is not about to change for anyone. When her life takes an unanticipated detour, Mary Dell momentarily gives in to despair, but she soon finds help from a very unexpected source.
Although Between Heaven and Texas is primarily Mary Dell’s story, Lydia Dale plays a prominent role in Mary Dell ultimately achieving her lifelong dream. Lydia Dale is the meeker of the sisters and she pretty much goes with the flow. It is not until the family’s livelihood is threatened that Lydia Dale becomes a more active participant on the ranch. She also finds her backbone and finally stands up to her worthless ex-husband. But Lydia Dale truly becomes a force to be reckoned when it appears that Mary Dell’s business venture is at risk of failing before it can get off the ground.
The heart and soul of Between Heaven and Texas is Mary Dell and her strong relationship with her family. Her Aunt Velvet and her grandmother Silky are her staunchest supporters and their no nonsense advice and wisdom guide Mary Dell through life’s most difficult moments. Marie Bostwick deftly handles serious topics such as infidelity, infertility and discrimination with little angst or drama and the novel’s ending is heartfelt and touching.
Old and new fans of the Cobbled Court Quilts series are sure to love this captivating and in-depth look into Mary Dell’s life. I am hoping that Ms. Bostwick has plans to revisit this fascinating family in the not too distant future.