At four years old, Elmore was uprooted from her home in Detroit and sent to live with her grandparents in rural Alabama. Feeling abandoned, she slowly came out of her shell, coaxed by Grandma Lula’s undying love and the stories her grandmother pieces together in quilts from the clothing of people who have died—women in the rural South before and after the Civil War, healers, teachers, laundresses, enslaved people, and others whose stories and lives have been hidden and often forgotten. Elmore connects the lives of the individuals throughout history in this work that highlights the impact of racism, sexism, and colorism on American history and in the lives of women like Lula. The author’s personal connection makes this memoir a powerful one that sheds light on strength, perseverance, and pride in the day-to-day lives of Black women.
VERDICT A testament to her grandmother and the women who made an impact on her childhood, Elmore’s text is an ideal choice for readers interested in memoir and history, plus stories about Black women, feminism, and quilting.