Hatred, anger and revenge are powerful motivators, but can they have a life of their own? Rachel Grant, a student working on her dissertation, is about to find out. Assisting at an antique store owned by Cheryl Cardoza and her sister-in-law Kara is a good way for Rachel to gather more information for her research into the history of women's crafts. Too much of a loner, Rachel envies Cheryl's work, family and especially, her husband, Tony. After a near robbery at the store, Rachel and Cheryl discover a bag of old linens lying outside. Intrigued, they clean the linens and realize that they are antique bridal quilts.

Rachel feels oddly about one quilt from the very beginning; it seems to generate a kind of power. Before long Rachel finds her thoughts, dreams and actions strangely affected. While she has a crush on Tony, she would never dream of acting on it; yet one night she nearly throws herself into his arms. This episode is witnessed by family friend and professor Adam Nugent. Adam is intrigued by Rachel and soon is concerned for her safety and sanity.

Having been through a possession episode in their own lives, Ruth and Pat MacDougal, Kara's aunt and uncle, sense immediately that Rachel is overshadowed. But for what reason and by whom? The woman who made this quilt clearly intended to use it as a weapon against someone. Unlocking the ancestry of the quilt may be their only chance to release Rachel from its powerful grip.

STITCHES IN TIME is yet again another triumph for premiere storyteller Barbara Michaels. Long-time fans will delight in the return of Ruth and Pat MacDougal from her earlier masterpiece Amie Come Home. (Sept., 400 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith