The Spoilt Quilt

Book Cover
Release date November 20, 2019

My contribution to this anthology is a piece called The Devil’s Rope. As some may know, the “devil’s rope” is another name for barbed wire. This tale describes what it must have been like to be a female homesteader during the range wars, and mentions Cattle Kate – a woman hanged for rustling cattle, and whom I happen to believe was innocent.

Booklist (11-1-19)This title releases NOV 2019Each piece in this 16-story, female-focused anthology packs a punch. The heroines confront death, disease, rape, domestic violence, and poverty, all while living in an era that denies them equal legal status . . . it’s about personal strength in a time and place when that was often the only resource an individual had in excess. To that end, The Spoilt Quiltprovides brief glimpses of optimism in an otherwise overcast world.” Advanced Review – Uncorrected Proof  Issue: November 1, 2019The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West, edited by Hazel RumneyNov. 2019. 360p. Five Star, $25.95 (HC ISBN: 9781432864293) If the male settlers of the western frontier found life demanding, desolate, and deadly, The Spoilt Quilt makes a convincing case that it was even worse for women. Each piece in this 16-story, female-focused anthology packs a punch. The heroines confront death, disease, rape, domestic violence, and poverty, all while living in an era that denies them equal legal status. But that is not to say the main characters lack agency; each woman fights back to the best of her ability regardless of the unfortunate scenario plotted out for her. Some use misdirection (“The Spoilt Quilt”), some use trained skills (“The Well-Witcher’s Daughter,” “Berserker on the Prairie”), some use cunning (“The Hope Chest”), some use pure, unbridled rage (“The Devil’s Rope,” “Abandoned Places”). This collection isn’t necessarily about winners and losers—if it were, many of these women would be failures, and the stories too grim to read. Rather, it’s about personal strength in a time and place when that was often the only resource an individual had in excess. To that end, The Spoilt Quilt provides brief glimpses of optimism in an otherwise overcast world.— Sarah Steers