I send my mother a book a month. It's not that she needs one. She lives one block from the library, and she walks there all the time. But, for the last couple years, at my sister's suggestion, at Christmas I've given her a "Book of the Month" certificate. It's a way of sharing books I've enjoyed that I think my mother will. Susan Wiggs' The Goodbye Quilt will definitely be going to Mom. It's a mother/daughter story. And, it's the story of a mother who quilts, as my mother does. Perfect as a gift to her.
Linda Davis has had all kinds of projects to keep her busy over the years. But, all along, her main project has been her daughter, Molly. And, now that Molly has a scholarship to a college in the East, Linda's going to drive with her from their home in Wyoming to Molly's new life at college. Molly's doing the driving, and Linda plans to work on a major gift for her daughter. She is creating a quilt of memories, and maybe it will include a "glimpse of her dreams." And, this mother who is letting go of her only daughter admits, "I've often thought a quilt held together with a woman's tears to be the strongest of all."
Linda sees this road trip as "A final adventure for the two of us to share." Molly's view of life is a little different, though. She doesn't want to leave the young man she's loved over the summer. And, her memories of her childhood aren't the same ones her mother has. As Linda quilts her way across country, she endows the quilt with all her hopes for her daughter, and all her own fears. Who is Linda Davis now that her daughter is moving on?
There are really no surprises in Wiggs' The Goodbye Quilt. The reader has inklings throughout the book that Linda will discover her new project, although Linda makes frantic suggestions as to what she should do. Linda's husband, Dan, and Molly are both wise enough to know it's time for Linda to find a life for herself. This is just a quiet book about the lives and memories shared between a mother and daughter. Mothers don't always know if they've taught their daughters everything they need to know about life. But, at some point, they have to trust that they've given their daughters a sound foundation. The Goodbye Quilt is Wiggs' gift to mothers and daughters, the story of lives quilted together with love.
Susan Wiggs' website is http://www.susanwiggs.com/
The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs. MIRA. ©2011. ISBN 9780778329961 (hardcover), 400p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I picked up an Advanced Reading Copy at the library.