Becky Mushko

Patches on the Same Quilt

Patches on the Same Quilt, winner of the 2001 Smith Mountain Arts Council Fiction Contest, was self-published thanks to a generous grant from SMAC which covered a third of the cost of the first press run of a thousand copies.


Brad Burkholder, judge of the contest, said this about Patches on the Same Quilt:


The writing is all but flawless. The story becomes painfully touching in places, and when all the threads are tied together  at the end, the result is spell-binding, beautiful and emotionally moving. Through the course of time, the horse has been  man's greatest companion on earth, a point that those of our time do not fully understand. The novel's use of the horse as  a metaphor for human longing, human self-preservation--indeed, all of those traits within us that we are apt to call human--comes  into clear focus only at the end, and when it does, the effect is breathtaking.


Patches on the Same Quilt is a series of related stories told by members of six generations of a Franklin County, Virginia, family. A young boy's wish for a horse changes not only the direction of his own life but also the lives of his children, granddaughter, and  great-granddaughter. As his grandmother, the quilt-maker Gillie Anne, says, "We might not be cut from the same cloth, but we're all patches on the same quilt." Each character's story adds a patch to the pattern of interconnected lives.


Patches on the Same Quilt, now in its second printing, was the best-selling novel at the Blue Lady Bookshop in Rocky Mount, Virginia. (The Blue Lady Bookshop, closed since 2007, was located in General Jubal Early's former law office on the grounds of The Grove and was named for one of The Grove’s resident ghosts.)


A review from Ibby Greer, former editor and publisher of Blue Ridge Traditions and former owner of the Blue Lady Bookshop, is here:


Another review, which originally appeared  in the June 2006 issue of The Blue Ridge Gazette, is now posted on  Leslie Shelor's blog, Books and Reviews at Greenberry House:


Since Patches on the Same Quilt is a self-published book, copies are not widely available. The General Store near Smith Mountain Lake always has copies. Otherwise, contact me for ordering information.

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