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The Giving Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts Novels)by Jennifer Chiaverini
Synopses & Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem Christmas Bells,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellows classic Revolutionary War poem, Paul Reveres Ride,” was less than a month hence, and the countrys grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed.
In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophias music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the childrens choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss.
Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellows family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellows patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn.
Jennifer Chiaverinis resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song.
"Chiaverini returns to the quilters of Elm Creek Manor and introduces several new characters in her sweet latest novel (after Sonoma Rose). When Sylvia asks the participants in Quiltsgiving, a post-Thanksgiving weeklong get-together, why they quilt and why they give, their answers point to personal tragedies and triumphs, reminding readers of the powers of generosity and friendship. Jocelyn recently lost her husband in a tragic accident, and she channels her energies into keeping his after-school programs alive. Linnea wants to keep the public library where she works open to all visitors, but a lack of funding and political squabbling make it difficult. Michaela is recovering from a leg injury sustained during a sabotaged cheerleading tryout, and she fears her future is jeopardized. Despite the particulars of each obstacle or victory, each woman finds encouragement in one another, and as they quilt, they stitch together their strengths to cope with individual struggles. Chiaverini's themes of love, loss, and healing will resonate with many, and her characters' stories are inspiring. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin Agency. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This ninth Elm Creek Quilts novel continues the series with a tribute to matriarch Sylvia Compson, who surprised her fellow quilters by marrying her longtime sweetheart on a recent holiday. Eager to honor their favorite Master Quilter, the Elm Creek Quilters hasten to stitch a bridal quilt for the newlyweds. Until the time comes to unveil the surprise gift, Sylvia will be the one in the dark.
Such little white lies seem harmless enough. But the quilting retreat at Elm Creek Manor thrives on women sharing their creativity, their challenges and their dreams. Somehow, in their race to commemorate in the bridal quilt all they hold dear about Sylvias wisdom, skill and devotion, her fellow quilters forget to give honesty its pride of place.
Just when it seems that the women have everything to celebrate, forces conspire to threaten their happiness and prosperity. Two among them falter in their personal relationships, while another suffers financial problems. As still two others weigh the comfort of the present against dreams of a future far from Elm Creek Manor, closely guarded secrets strain the bonds of friendship with those who may be left behind.
andldquo;Why do you give?andrdquo; asks Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper in The Giving Quilt, the New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaveriniandrsquo;s artful, inspiring novel that imagines what good would come from practicing the holiday spirit each and every day of the year.
At Elm Creek Manor, the week after Thanksgiving is andldquo;Quiltsgiving,andrdquo; a time to commence a season of generosity. From near and far, quilters and aspiring quiltersandmdash;a librarian, a teacher, a college student, and a quilt-shop clerk among themandmdash;gather for a special winter session of quilt camp, to make quilts for Project Linus. (In real life, Chiaverini has long been active in this charitable organization, dedicated to providing handmade quilts and blankets to children in need.)
Each quilter, ever mindful that many of her neighbors, friends, and family members are struggling through difficult times, uses her creative gifts to alleviate their collective burden. As the week unfolds, the quilters respond to Sylviaandrsquo;s provocative question in ways as varied as the life experiences that drew them to Elm Creek Manor. Love and comfort are sewn into the warm, bright, beautiful quilts they stitch, and their stories collectively consider the strength of human connection and its rich rewards.
Featuring not only well-loved characters but also intriguing newcomers, The Giving Quilt will remind us all: Giving from the heart blesses the giver as much as the recipient, and while giving may not always be easy, it is always worthwhile.
About the Author
Jennifer Chiaverini lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the six volumes in the Elm Creek Quilts series and two books of quilt patterns inspired by the novels, she designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics.
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