Saturday, October 6, 2018

Meet Mrs. Gruener from "The Cumberland Bride"

Welcome to Stitches Thru Time, Mrs. Gruener.  We’re happy you could join us today and answer a few questions.

Thank you so much for having me! I will do my best, and pray that your readers find my words worthwhile.
The Cumberland Bride is mostly about your eldest daughter, Kate, and the scout your husband hired to take your family into the Kentucky wilderness, but share with us some of the behind-the-scenes things that took place leading up to your move. What made your family pack up and leave the relative safety of Virginia?

‘Twas not an easy decision, but it seemed the best for our family, all things considered. My husband Karl, as you may know, was a Hessian in the employ of the British Army at the time we met, and even after the end of the war he has been careful about not noising that about. Our first move occurred because of my family’s displeasure in our marriage, but it was good for Karl and me to depend upon each other in those early years—and upon the Lord. We learned that He is indeed faithful to care for us, that if we commit any such decision to Him in prayer, He will provide all we need. Over the years, as our family grew, we never felt that any place we lived was truly ours, however, and Karl, in particular, felt the tug to continue on and find that.
Kate was hurt almost before you got started on your journey. Did that give you pause? Did you and your husband reevaluate your whole decision at that point? What tipped the scales and kept you going forward?

Oh, that was a small enough injury, an inconvenience to be sure, but it couldn’t be helped, and I was thankful we had the wherewithal to accommodate Kate’s recovery while continuing our journey.     
The journal Kate keeps is something you don’t approve of. Can you share with us why?

Gracious, that girl—always has her head in the clouds with some story or another, or asking me dozens of questions on “why” this or that. She should learn to better apply herself to hard work. A woman’s life is difficult enough without her distracting herself with the affairs of others, or thinking fanciful thoughts. Scripture tells us to be sober and vigilant. How can she do that if her mind is always flittering off elsewhere?

I suppose, however, that keeping a written record of notable happenings is not such an ill-spent occupation. I simply am concerned whether she can keep her journal to that and not waste time with fanciful things.

A second accident on the trail involved not only Kate but your toddler son as well. As a mother, I can’t imagine what that put you through. But then … something even worse happens. We won’t tell our readers this because we try not to include spoilers, but tell us what held you and your husband together during this time.

Oh my. Gracious, yes. I suppose what held us together was the only thing that can in such a situation … our trust in God Himself. And we have already endured so much together (two of our children going on to heaven before us), why would we allow this to separate us?

I have a huge respect for the women of your time who did extraordinary things. What piece of wisdom would you like to share with our modern readers before you take your leave?

Do not shrink from difficulty or hard work, because those are the things the Lord uses to shape us and refine us.

Thank you for your visit, Mrs. Gruener!

For those who want to know more about The Cumberland Bride, you can find author Shannon McNear at the following links:


  1. Nice to get acquainted with Mrs. Gruener. I look forward to reading The Cumberland Bride.

  2. I loved this book. The whole series is great.