A Patchwork Past by Leslie Gould ~ Book Review

May 14, 2021


 Leslie Gould
Series: Plain Patterns, Book 2
Genre: Christian Amish
Release Date: March 2021
Pages: 336

When wild child Sophie Deiner--the daughter of an Amish bishop--is forced to return to Nappanee, Indiana, quilt-shop owner Jane Berger is one of only a few who welcome her back. It's the last place she wants to be, but Sophie's recent illness requires that she recover for a while.

As Sophie heals, she befriends a group of migrant workers and is appalled to learn of the wretched living conditions they're forced to endure. Sophie begins advocating on their behalf, but soon finds herself opposed by an ex-boyfriend who is the farm foreman.

Jane begins relating the story of an Amish couple who rescued survivors of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many of whom were Irish immigrants. And Sophie is more convinced than ever that she needs to fight for the powerless. But when digging deeper makes conditions even worse, has she chosen a fight she can't win?


A Patchwork Past is the second book in the Plain Patterns series. I have not read the first one and I had no problem following this one so definitely can be read as a stand alone. When this book came up for review I jumped at the chance just because I really enjoy Amish stories. It is the genre that started me reading Christian Fiction so I have a soft spot for it and although I tend to stick to my favorite Amish writers I do like to try new ones. This was my first by this author and her writing is very good even though this was not my favorite I thought parts of the storyline were quite unique and interesting. 

In this story we meet Sophie Deiner who has left the Amish community but returns as she is battling Lupus and needs some much needed help to rest and recoup. Her relationship with her parents, especially with her mom is quite broken. I felt bad for Sophie as it felt like her parents really don't believe that she is sick. While there she helps out Jane who is kind to her and while there Jane tells her the story of Mary, a woman who traveled with her father to Chicago and ends up in the middle of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. The story now goes back and forth between timelines and they somewhat correlates to what is happening in the Amish community as Jane befriends a family of immigrants and tries to fight for their social justice. 

You can tell that the author has done a very good job in her research for the Chicago Fire and the Amish community. It is obvious she has a gift for writing Amish stories. This is definitely not your typical Amish story of marriage or hope of marriage. It's the story of Sophie finding herself and what God's calling for her life is. 

My personal thoughts on some of the storyline is that it felt a bit too political. The issue of immigration is such a huge hot topic that it wasn't something I was expecting from a book and honestly it's not something that I would have picked up had I known it was going to be such a dominant part of the story. I read stories to escape the realities of the world. That's just me. When I read fiction I don't want to step into the news world or any political aspects of it I just want to delve into a different world and get lost in the story. I read non-fiction for a reason. To learn and educate myself in such topics but when it comes to fiction stories its an escape, a vacation if you will from the busyness of the day. 

Overall it was a good story and if you like reading fiction that are based on current events then this may be the book for you. Again I thought the author did a phenomenal job in her writing I just wasn't keen in the topic mixed with my fiction. 

My Rating: 3 stars/ It was okay.

I received this book from the publisher Bethany House. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.


Leslie Gould is the #1 bestselling and Christy Award-winning author of thirty novels. She received her MFA from Portland State University and teaches writing at Warner Pacific University. Leslie enjoys traveling, hiking, and history. She and her husband, Peter, are the revolving-door parents of four children and two cats. Visit her at 

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