cover image A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time

Ann Rinaldi. Scholastic, $13.95 (305pp) ISBN 978-0-590-46055-2

The powerful symbolism of a quilt named Trust supplies a strong send-off for the first of Rinaldi's new trilogy about a Salem shipping merchant family in America's early post-revolution years. Sisters Hannah, Abby and Thankful Chelmsford, driven into separate journeys as a result of their father's cold and manipulative ways, each take a piece of the quilt; the conceit here is that only fabric taken from their most trusted friends will be added to it. Eldest sister Hannah, the narrator, stays in Salem while Abby elopes with a sea captain and fractious Thankful joins their father on a dangerous expedition to western territory. Hannah's feelings, from her doubts about her own prospects to her guilty resentment of Thankful, are fresh and contemporary, effectively contrasting with the story's archaic sex roles and adding to the richness of Rinaldi's ( In My Father's House ; A Break with Charity ) well-researched setting. With her infectious fascination for American history and her sensitive characterizations, Rinaldi again creates an adventurous, heart-catching story that will leave readers in eager anticipation of its successors. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)