Midwest Author Ties the Time-Honored Skill of Quilting to American Civil War Events as a Means of Connecting Generations
WordCrafts Press and author Cherie Dargan are celebrating the release of the new novel, The Legacy, which released on October 3, 2023. The second volume in Dargan’s dual timeline Grandmother’s Treasures series is already creating excitement among fans and critics alike, as it claimed the Number 37 spot on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases on the Black and African American Historical Fiction chart.
“In this dual timeline book, a bloodstained Civil War Era family quilt stirs a search for answers rooted in mystery and history. War, injustice, danger, romance, and reconciliation—How could a reader ask for more?” declared Shelly Beach, Christy Award-winning co-author of Love Letters from the Edge.
Barbara Lounsberry, author of the Virginia Woolf Diaries trilogy called The Legacy, “…a story of romance and danger and of women and men joining forces and rescuing each other from hate and intolerance in two separate eras.”
The Legacy continues the present day romantic story of Gracie and her boyfriend, David which was introduced in The Gift, Volume One of Dargan’s Grandmother’s Treasures series. A visit to Grandma Molly over the Christmas holidays sets a new investigation into motion, as Molly confides that forty years ago, while helping her sisters-in-law clean out a house after their Grandma Mary’s death, Molly found a red and green quilt that no one else wanted, so she brought it home. An old legal envelope was safety-pinned to the quilt, which had a faded bloodstain on the back. A great-aunt urged her to burn the envelope and quilt, and after a family gathering, the envelope disappeared. Molly hid the quilt away. Now she wants Gracie to find out who made the quilt and if it dates back to the American Civil War. Grandpa Patrick walks in and makes a fuss. “Ah, Molly, what are you doing with this old quilt again? Can’t you let it go after all this time?” Gracie wonders, What’s going on with my grandparents?
It’s September 1864, and the war has come to Winchester, Virginia yet again. The dual-timeline also follows Sarah, a widowed schoolteacher who rushes to be with her sister, Emily, who is struggling to give birth after a difficult pregnancy. Sadly, Emily and her baby die, leaving Sarah to take Emily’s maid Rebecca and son Bobby to freedom. Sarah’s mother insists she take along a young slave named Thomas for protection. It’s almost one hundred miles to Baltimore, where they can take a boat to Boston, and then board a train west. Can Sarah lead this group to safety while avoiding stray Confederates, Union soldiers, and slave catchers? And why does Rebecca say to look for quilt squares on their journey?
Can Gracie find the story behind the red and green quilt and help her grandparents resolve their problems the way she did with the California quilt?
“I’ve always been a storyteller,” author Cherie Dargan says of her impetus for writing The Legacy. “I used my Great-grandma Eva’s 1860 Rustic Rose quilt for inspiration and reimagined its origins. After 150 years, the colors have faded, but it’s still lovely. My grandma wrote a note and attached it to the quilt with a safety pin, telling us the quilt’s history. Eva was only seventeen when she married my Great-grandfather Frank, who was twice her age, and it was his mother, Dianna, who started the quilt in 1860.”
“Gracie’s story isn’t finished, yet,” Cherie notes. “There are more quilts to discover and more family stories to share, and Gracie has more adventures in store as her relationship with David grows closer. Readers can look forward to Book Three which features her third great-grandma, Mary, a young woman whose fiancé goes to fight in the trenches of WWI. But that’s another story!”
About the Author
Cherie Dargan is a retired Community College teacher who reinvented herself in retirement as an active volunteer, a writer, blogger, and family historian. She’s also a geek, who loves to play with and write about technology. She earned a B. A. from Buena Vista University, an M. A. from Iowa State University, and another M. A. from the University of Northern Iowa. She’s a member of the Cedar Falls Supper Club, and serves as a member and webmaster for the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association, as well as the Cedar Falls Authors Festival.
Cherie writes from her home in Iowa where she lives with her husband Mike, a retired librarian.
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