Rating: [rate 4.0]
Carly McKay’s life is going just fine until she produces a television piece on psychic quilt maker Brandywine Seaver and receives a quilt with an enigmatic reading telling her that everything is about to change. And it does. She loses her job and her best friend (who proclaims his unrequited love for her). And her mother, who deserted the family seventeen years ago, returns, sending Carly into a serious tilt.
Convinced it’s the quilt’s fault, Carly races down to the small artists’ community of Bilby, Arizona, to confront its maker, and ends up renting a cabin from her. Carly even starts to enjoy her reimagined life, until her old life comes calling. Now Carly has to decide what parts of each world she wants to patchwork in…and how much she’s willing to leave to fate.
I’ve been curious with Lani Diane Rich’s work ever since I learned that she wrote her first novel during NaNoWriMo, so when I finally got a chance to read one of her books, I grabbed it immediately. Look at that cute cover. :P
The Fortune Quilt starts with Carly’s sister’s wedding and with Carly, her younger sister Five and her dad making bets at who will be disturbing Ella’s wedding because of a dream that Five had. Turns out the disturbance was meant for Carly, from her ex Seth, and she was saved by Ella’s ex Will. Then we meet Carly’s best friend Chris, and the quilt maker Brandywine, and now we have the cast of characters complete. You just know something is going to happen right after all that normalcy.
And so it happens. Carly receives a quilt from Brandywine that apparently contains her fortune which Carly scoffs at, and then her world turns upside down. What’s a girl to do then? She runs away, not to any Vegas hotels (which is too far) but back to Brandywine, and into another cast of wacky characters in the town of Bilby.
In a way this book reminds me of The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella but with less spaz from the protagonist. There was the same tone of running away from the old life and finding a new one as the character is in the new place. However, Carly is a focused and smart woman who got her life turned upside down by forces that she couldn’t understand, while Samantha in The Undomestic Goddess got to where she was because she was too workaholic. And again, Samantha just feels a bit more of an airhead than Carly was.
The other characters in The Fortune Quilt were also hilarious — from the gay couple with their daughter, Brandy, Janessa, the grumpy man who always buys charcoal from the art store and sexy Will, who becomes Carly’s love interest in the story (you can tell from the first chapter).
This is a very fun read. It had just the right combination of humor and seriousness, and it’s a good way to get myself into Lani Diane Rich’s works. :) I’m definitely reading the other ones she has. :P