The Key on the Quilt
First in The Quilt Chronicles series
by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Jane Prescott is serving a 10 year sentence for a murder believed to have been committed by Jane Marquis. Jane Prescott and Jane Marquis are the same person, but she went back to using her first married name after being convicted of murdering her husband Owen Marquis.
She has a nine year old daughter, Rose Prescott, who went to live with Jane's sister Flora after the murder. Jane didn't give any reason for murdering Owen, a good man as far as anyone knew, except when he was drinking, then he became very abusive to Jane and that was never in public. He never hurt Rose, except for the fact that she heard and saw the abusiveness.
Jane had one person in town who tried to fight for her at the trial, but she wouldn't let him and she wouldn't say anything in defense of herself as to why she shot Owen. Dr Max Zimmer had seen the bruises and broken ribs as he watched her go to a silent obedient wife. He also treated Rose when she received an injury while Owen was teaching her to shoot a gun.
During her time in prison, Jane wrote to Rose and waited for Flora to bring her for a visit. After she'd been in there for a while she received a short note from her sister to quit writing to Rose because it was too upsetting to her and if she tried to continue there was a chance she'd move so Jane wouldn't know where they were.
Dr Zimmer continued to fight to get her out as he didn't think she was capable of commiting the crime she'd been convicted of. When he went to visit her after she'd served a few years one of the prisoners, Pearl Brand, attacked another prisoner who was pregnant, along with the warden. Dr Zimmer, being on site, treated the prisoner and delivered her baby. Jane was the prisoner selected to go with Vestal to be treated at the wardens house, but she and Max did not speak even one word to each other as that was not allowed. The next day, after visiting with the warden about the reason for coming to see him, to request a letter to take to the governor so Jane could be released, he got to see Jane and explain what he was doing. She told him to forget it and to not bother her again.
Jane had found a way to get through her ten year sentence by not thinking about the future when she would be free to see Rose again and have her daughter back. If she allowed Max to get her hopes up, she would have to start the process of forgetting where she was all over again, she just couldn't allow that to happen.
After the prison dust up, Pearl was not held with the other women and the warden's wife started helping out and would guard the women on Sunday's. After services one Sunday, the preacher's wife lost a necklace so that night Ellen took Jane to help her search for it and clean as they were looking. They didn't know that Pearl had escaped her cell with the help of a guard and had a homemade weapon. Ellen sent Jane to get a broom and when she returned Pearl had Ellen held hostage and now she would have Jane also. All the women were afraid of Pearl so Jane knew not to even talk to her but Ellen didn't, which worked out for them, she ended up finding out what the whole plan was. Max decided it was taking his wife an awful long time so he went looking for her, when Pearl saw him she jumped to stab Ellen, but Jane jumped up and diverted the attack to save the warden's wife and got stabbed instead.
Yep, that's it, you have to read it now! Stephanie did a great job with this book and holding your interest throughout. This is a must read! I just can't say enough good about this book. I am really anxious for the second book in this series, Shadow of a Name, to some out this September.
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