Josh Gary works in the city of Tyler and just finished up his current development, a strip mall. He eats antacids like their candy to try to soothe his chronic stomach pain. He’s from the little town of Star, TX and that’s where his grandmother still lives. His parents died when he was young and his grandmother raised him. He gets a call from his grandmother’s companion, Anabelle McMurtry telling him that he needs to come home.
Anabelle grew up down the street from the Gary’s mansion. Her older brother, Sam use to play football with Josh but Josh only remembers Anabelle as a stringy-haired waif that was a least 7b years their junior. Anabelle has grown up and has a thriving quilt business in town. She also is a community leader. This comes to a shock to Josh who thinks her main occupation is being his grandmother’s companion.
Josh and Anabelle are attracted to each other but have several issues to work out. Josh wants to take large tracts of land around Star and make an exclusive gated community. Anabelle wants to attract business to Star to revitalize the town which is slowly dying. Anabelle likes small town living while Josh loves the feel of the big city.
Anabelle also “sees” things when she touches certain items which Josh has problems dealing with. As Anabelle and Josh fulfill his grandmother’s dying wish to finish a quilt started by Josh’s grandmother’s grandmother, Anabelle “sees” her life through the quilt pieces.
I found this book to be dated. In fact, I had to check the copywrite date on this book in ensure that it had been published in the past decade! Josh’s office has large work tables to draw plans. Most planners today use some form of CAD and have for several years. While plans are printed out, they are stored in tubes and only brought out when needed. Star is only 14 miles from Tyler which for most large cities would make Star a suburb not a country town far away without fast food places or Walmart! When Josh decides to set up a temporary office in Star, he worries about setting up a fax machine and gives no thought to the Internet. No character in this book had a cell phone and fashion was several decades behind times.
Some of the situations seemed unrealistic. I would assume that most people that live in TX/OK area would immediately recognize a tornado siren. When Anabelle doesn’t and she’s a native to that area, it makes me wonder what is going on. Anabelle grew up in the shadow of her brother and Josh and yet we’re to believe that she had never been on an ATV and wasn’t sure how to use one.
Sadly, I found Anabelle’s narrative about Josh’s ancestor more entertaining than Josh and Anabelle’s story. For some reason that story was faster paced and had more going on. It even had more conflict than the more modern story!
There were attempts to make this a story of today but they fell short. However, if you like the stories written around the early 70s time frame, you’ll enjoy this book.
Josh Gary's grandmother's last words were “Finish my grandmother’s quilt.” The woman, Annabel McMurtry, chosen to quilt it with him can envision who wore the pieces and what happened. This results in two stories in one. Two couples in the same place, one in 1867 at the end of the Civil War and the resulting love affair of the quilters. Both couples try to save the dying town of Star. Helen, that Yankee woman, became one of the first female post masters, but she and the Rebel Colonel she married struggle to bring the town back to life by attacting business. The modern day couple are deterred in their efforts when the town is nearly destroyed by a tornado.