Title: Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie S. Calhoun
Auilts of Love Series
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: Historical, Christian, Fiction
Length: 240 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will
grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover
them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.
But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?
Bonnie S. Calhoun’s Pieces of the Heart is a faith-based novel that is rich in historical detail and a beautiful story of family, traditions and faith. It is also moving story of forgiveness and love that is quite heartwarming.
Pieces of the Heart spans several years of Cordelia Grace and Bernard Howard’s romantic relationship. They weather many ups and downs throughout their courtship and they finally wed when Bernard returns from war. But will their marriage survive the unseen wounds of war that haunt Bernard?
The summary of Pieces of the Heart is a little misleading. Most of the novel details how Cordelia and Bernard meet and several years of their subsequent courtship. Their marriage does not taking place until very late in the story and only a handful of pages outline Bernard’s struggles with shell-shock (post traumatic stress disorder). There are few details of his eventual recovery but a nice epilogue wraps up all the loose ends.
While I enjoyed the overall story, some of the transitions from one time period to another are confusing. We see individual growth of Bernard and Cordelia, but as they spend much of the novel apart, their romance seems a little glossed over. Due to this lack, I had a difficult time connecting with them as a couple.
Pieces of the Heart touches on many issues that are relevant to the novel’s time period. As a lighter skinned Negro, Cordelia contends with racism within the Negro community. Living in an integrated part of the country leaves Bernard ill-prepared for the segregation of white and colored troops and the unfairly harsh living conditions while serving his country. Bernard’s return home highlights the tragedy of shell-shock for both the combat veterans and their families.
Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie S. Calhoun is lovely story about loving through adversity, keeping faith even through difficult times and forgiving ourselves and others. It is a timeless novel that will resonate with anyone who has struggled with their faith.