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Apart at the Seams (Cobbled Court Quilts #6)

Marie Bostwick

Paperback

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Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (4/7/2015)
MP3 CD (4/7/2015)
Library Binding, Large Print (7/1/2014)
MP3 CD (4/29/2014)
MP3 CD (4/29/2014)
Compact Disc (4/29/2014)
Compact Disc (4/29/2014)

Description

New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick welcomes readers back to picturesque New Bern, Connecticut--a perfect place for a woman whose marriage is in turmoil to discover a new pattern for living. . .

Twice in her life, college counselor Gayla Oliver fell in love at first sight. The first time was with Brian--a lean, longhaired, British bass player. Marriage followed quickly, then twins, and gradually their bohemian lifestyle gave way to busy careers in New York. Gayla's second love affair is with New Bern, Connecticut. Like Brian, the laid back town is charming without trying too hard. It's the ideal place to buy a second home and reignite the spark in their twenty-six year marriage. Not that Gayla is worried. At least, not until she finds a discarded memo in which Brian admits to a past affair and suggests an amicable divorce.

Devastated, Gayla flees to New Bern. Though Brian insists he's since recommitted to his family, Gayla's feelings of betrayal may go too deep for forgiveness. Besides, her solo sabbatical is a chance to explore the creative impulses she sidelined long ago--quilting, gardening, and striking up new friendships with the women of the Cobbled Court circle--particularly Ivy, a single mother confronting fresh starts and past hurts of her own. With all of their support, Gayla just might find the courage to look ahead, decide which fragments of her old life she wants to keep, which are beyond repair--and how to knot the fraying ends until a bold new design reveals itself. . .

Praise for Marie Bostwick's Between Heaven And Texas

"Brilliant. . .the characters thunder with life right off the page and into your heart in this quintessential story of family, forgiveness, and nobility. I just adored every single page!" --Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author

"This book wrapped around my heart with all the love, warmth, and beauty of a favorite family quilt. I can't stop thinking about it!" --Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A book that brims with laughter and laser-sharp insight." --Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

"With Texas-sized helpings of humor, charm, and sass, this tale will put you in a Lone Star state of mind!" --Lauren Lipton, author of Mating Rituals of the North American WASP

"Between Heaven and Texas should be the book every contemporary women's fiction reader wants to savor. . .It's a story that touches women on many levels and yet is filled with humor and a bit of pathos." Kirkus

"Bostwick's latest is so full of heart, it's amazing it all fits on the pages. Her characters feel genuine, and their wisdom in the face of intense difficulty is profound. A prequel to the Cobbled Court Quilts series, this can stand on its own, satisfying longtime fans and inspiring new ones." RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK

Kensington, 9780758269300, 336pp.

Publication Date: April 29, 2014



About the Author

Marie Bostwick was born and raised in the northwest. In the three decades since her marriage, Marie and her family have moved frequently, living in eight different states at eighteen different addresses. These experiences have given Marie a unique perspective that enables her to write about people from all walks of life and corners of the country with insight and authenticity. Marie currently resides in Portland, where she enjoys writing, spending time with family, gardening, collecting fabric, and stitching quilts. Visit her at www.mariebostwick.com.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

When Gayla Oliver learns that her husband, Brian, has had


an affair, she points out that when the gossip mills start


churning in the wake of marital infidelity, someone always


says, “Well, she must have known. Down deep, she had to


have at least suspected.” Do you agree with that statement?


Do you believe people with cheating spouses actually know


what is going on at some level but choose to look the other


way? Or do you think, as Gayla does, this is something that


people say to make themselves feel more secure in their own


relationships? Or does the truth lie somewhere in between?


Gayla learns about Brian’s affair and unhappiness in their


marriage when she stumbles upon a memo he wrote to her


but failed to send. Why do you think he did that? If he


changed his mind about divorce and never intended for her


to see the memo, why do you think he never deleted it? And


why, if he was so unhappy, didn’t he simply speak to her


about their problems? Was the memo his way of sorting out


his thoughts and desires? Or avoiding them?


Ivy Peterman is distressed when she learns that, according to


the law, her abusive ex-husband, Hodge, who is soon to be


released from prison, has a right to be reunited with his children.


What do you think of these types of laws? Should parents


with records of abuse be allowed contact with their


children? Never? Sometimes? Only in certain circumstances?


In these instances, should children have a right to


refuse to see their parents? If so, at what age and under what


circumstances?


In spite of an understandable wariness about entering into a


new relationship, Ivy, after spending so many years alone,


decides to give speed dating a try. If you’ve been married or


in an exclusive relationship for a very long time, how do you


think you’d feel about dating again? Do you think the process


of meeting new romantic partners is something that would be


fun? Anxiety producing? Something that you’d never do in a


million years? If you’re on the dating scene now or have


been in the past couple of years, what do you think is the


best way to meet new people? And for everyone, can you recall


the best date you’ve ever been on? The worst?


Looking for a way to explain her sudden appearance in New


Bern without giving away too much about her personal life,


Gayla tells Tessa and the other women of the Cobbled Court


Quilt Circle that she is taking a “sabbatical” and using the


time to try things she’s always wanted to do but has never


found the time for. What about you? If you could take a sabbatical


from everyday life, what things would you want to


try? Would you take up a new hobby or sport? Take an exotic


vacation? Go back to school?


Think about the list you created in response to the previous


question. Obviously, there may be financial, vocational, or


lifestyle factors that would keep you from taking up some of


those activities now, but can you also identify items on the


list that you could try now or in the near future? What obstacles


are standing in your way? Can you think of ways to


overcome those obstacles? Are you ready to do so?


In the story, Gayla has to wrestle with a very fundamental


question: Is it possible for a marriage to survive in the aftermath


of infidelity? Gayla’s friend Lanie says no, asserting


that a man who cheats once will cheat again. Brian, Gayla’s


husband, says yes, believing that they can work through


their problems and give the marriage a second chance. Gayla


isn’t so sure. What do you think? In cases of infidelity, is divorce


the best or only option? Why? Or do you believe that


couples should stay together no matter what, even if one of


them has been unfaithful? Or do you believe that, when


somebody cheats, the couple should stay together only under


certain conditions? What are they?


Overwhelmed by emotions she seems unable to control,


Gayla stumbles upon an unusual but effective method for


dealing with her anger—smashing dishes against a stone


wall. What do you do when you’re angry or frustrated? How


is that working for you? Do you think there could be a more


constructive way of handling your emotions?


Gayla and Brian originally bought the cottage in New Bern


because they hoped it would give them a means of staying


connected as a couple during a challenging season in their


careers. While it didn’t work out the way they’d hoped, at


least not at first, it wasn’t necessarily a bad idea. What about


you? Do you and your spouse or partner have a special place


you like to go together? Someplace that helps you clear your


heads and reconnect romantically?


When Brian suggests dating as a means of healing their broken


relationship, Gayla is skeptical but grudgingly decides


to go along with his plan, quickly realizing that she doesn’t


know her husband as well as she thought she did. If you’ve


been married or in a relationship for a long time, what suggestions


do you have for keeping the interest and romance


alive for the long haul?


Gayla knows that if she hopes to repair her broken marriage,


she has to find a way to forgive Brian, but it isn’t easy. When


someone we love hurts us deeply, it can be very hard to move


past the hurt and truly forgive. Some people, like Lanie,


would say it’s impossible, even foolish, and that people who


do so are just setting themselves up to be hurt again. On the


other hand, Philippa believes forgiving is the only way to


free ourselves from the worry and anxiety of past hurts,


telling Gayla that, “every debt we choose to hold on to actually has a hold on us.” What do you think? Do you agree


with Lanie? Or with Philippa? This may not be an answer


you wish to share with the group, but did reading the story


remind you of any half-healed hurts in your own life? Is


there someone you need to forgive? What difference would


it make in your life if you were able to do that? Or perhaps


you’ve realized that there is someone of whom you need to


ask forgiveness. Are you ready to do so?