Rebecca Zook, 22, a talented quilt maker in the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is getting past the point of getting married and starting a family; when Rebecca’s mother was her age, she’d already been a wife for four years. A fine candidate is on offer, though—Jacob, who’s steady, hardworking and good with animals, will inherit his father’s 70-acre farm. Still, Rebecca thinks of life with Jacob as being like the stone in her farmyard’s crick, “solid but stationary, withstanding life but never flowing with it.” She tries to explain this restlessness to her mother: “I can’t find the right words for how I’m feeling, exactly. It’s like quilting, kind of. There are these patterns you’re supposed to follow….[B]ut maybe there’s more than one right way to do things. Maybe there’s more than one pattern to a person’s life.” A New York gallery owner is interested in one of Rebecca’s quilted wall hangings, but Rebecca fears committing the sin of pride. Meanwhile, Gregory Pinckney is in search of his birth mother, and he’s come to Lancaster County (with his horse, Bojangles) to find her. The South Carolinian feels strangely at home: “Gregory hadn’t thought much about God in a long time. He’d been too busy. Now here he was on an Amish farm, resting on an Amish quilt, suddenly living among a quiet people with a strong faith. Some power had led him here.” Conflicts arise in the form of an insurance scam that almost kills Bojangles (animal-lover alert: two horses die) and a big decision for the Zook family on whether to sell the farm. Burgess (Play It As It Lies [A Play], 2004, etc.) makes good use of his setting. Rebecca’s Amish culture isn’t just a backdrop; it’s part of her. Her quilts rework images from her family’s daily life, such as the saddles and leather goods made by her father, while still honoring tradition. The gentle love story also respects Rebecca’s values.
A sensitive story about finding oneself in a community.