A Stitch in Time

Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
A Stitch in Time Book Poster Image
A compelling story about sisters in 1700s Salem.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Examines differing historical viewpoints on slavery and the treatment of Native Americans. Some characters are insensitive. The girls constantly (but justifiably) defy their father.


Brief descriptions of attacks by whites on Native Americans.


Cabot was an illegitimate child, and he sees Richard with "disreputable women."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that readers will learn about seafaring, some natural history, and much of the culture of early American New England. The books includes descriptions of attacks by whites on Native Americans and examines differing historical viewpoints on slavery and the treatment of Native Americans.

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What's the story?

It's 1788. Sisters Hannah, Abigail, and Thankful and their brother, Cabot, live in Salem, Massachusetts, a seafaring town bent on making money. The greediest of all, their father, Nathaniel, tyrannizes his family, favors the deceitful Thankful, and dislikes Cabot. Abigail taunts her father into sending her to her room, and elopes with Nate Videau to South Carolina.

Hannah wants to marry Richard Lander, but he's too busy overhauling his ship for a secret mission. The townsfolk suspect he's buying slaves, and disapprove. Handsome frontiersman Louis, who's also in love with Hannah, returns from Ohio with his daughter, a half-breed girl, for Hannah to raise. Thankful insists on accompanying her father and Louis back to Ohio, but she's captured by Native Americans. Will Hanna marry Richard? Will Thankful return? Read the next two books to find out.

Is it any good?

Book trilogies such as the one that this volume launches offer a sneaky way to get teenagers to read. Those who enjoy the first book will want to read the others. The quilt the girls are working on becomes the mechanism for tying the three books -- and the three sisters -- together, and their various romances tie young fans into a sense of the past.

While it doesn't rise to the level of literature, A STITCH IN TIME can be a good tool for showing kids that history doesn't have to be boring. Real people lived then, too, and little sisters could be just as awful then as they are today. Love still triumphs. History can be romantic and exciting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the three sisters' distinct personalities and how their differences help shape the story line. How would you describe Hannah? Abigail? Thankful? What's the purpose of the quilt the girls are working on? Is it at all symbolic, or is it simply a literary device that ties the series together?

Book details

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