The Button Legacy by Ginger Marcinkowski
This short little book entitled The Button Legacy by Ginger Marcinkowski is a fast-moving short novel that picks up on the theme of stories that run through the lives of each character. The book begins in New Brunswick with the main character, John remembering that each Canadian woman in his family would collect buttons from the scraps of old shirts and sweater and they would weave a quilt out of the fabric, tossing the buttons in a tin to remind them of a story. Each button had a story that went along with it, some of good times and others remembering the terrible events of family life. As John remembered these stories, his wife Ellen became enthralled with the stories told by way of the buttons.
The book takes a little thing such as buttons on an old shirt or rag and places them through the eyes of a storyteller. Taking a physical object and using it by way of telling the story of a family, a person, or a life is a constant theme running through Scripture that I thought Ginger picked up on here. From Joshua laying the stones down as a reminder to Israel of God’s mighty power, to the breaking of bread and wine at the Last Supper, the physical things of God’s world are constantly used to tell the stories of God and His people. I also enjoyed in this book the life change that John went through as he became a believer in Christ, as he began to pray for his daughters, speak to them the good news and live without such volatile anger. The book seemed to focus on the way painful situations can either draw forth even more pain or bring forth a new beginning.
The only thing I wish about his book is that it was longer. The story caught me from the beginning with the stories were told from the buttons. Physical objects are often reminders of dramatic events in one’s life but most importantly a reminder of the person you shared a particular time with. Maureen’s character in the book was somewhat aloof and didn’t seem to get caught in the excitement of the stories provided by the buttons. Whether it was a personality thing or just being a certain age, some children see the past in a different light. The Button Legacy weaves the story of a family together, including the frustration and joys that a family experiences with varying personalities. I really would like to see more written about this family, because not only was it riveting to read but it brought together some universal experiences that we all go through.
Thanks to Vox Dei Press and Cross Focused Reviews for the complimentary review copy of this book in exchange for review.