The Keepsake Quilters
Felicity’s latest book, a stand-alone novel. Publisher Hachette Irl, October 2022, PRE-ORDERING now.
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Set in the very different worlds of cosmopolitan London and a sleepy village in Ireland’s Wicklow mountains, The Keepsake Quilters tells the stories of four generations of women and the patchwork of fabrics that reconciles their unspoken family past with their dysfunctional present, offering the prospect of a joyful future.
Twenty-seven-year-old Penny is the successful producer of a morning TV show. Penny’s mum, Val, raised her alone, putting her life on hold for her daughter. Marguerite, Val’s widowed mother, has returned from London to her childhood home in Wicklow, where a 1950s portrait of her own mother, Ruth, has troubled Marguerite since she was young.
When unexpected pregnancy throws Penny’s life into turmoil, she sees her gran’s concern as disapproval, and her mum’s urge to help as interference. Fiercely independent, her initial reaction is not to answer their calls. So, in an attempt to keep Val busy until Penny calms down, Marguerite suggests that she and Val should make a keepsake cot quilt for the baby.
As Penny struggles to control the present and panics about the future, the process of piecing together treasured textiles starts to shed new light on the past for Val and Marguerite. Over the months of the pregnancy, buried memories are confronted, Val’s conflicted attitude towards Penny’s dad is finally voiced and, ultimately, the loving secret of Ruth’s striking portrait is revealed.
Meanwhile, Penny’s friendship with Mark, who owns the shop beneath her flat in vibrant Borough Market, begins to take an unexpected turn…