Synopses & Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a powerful and dramatic Prohibition-era story that follows the fortunes of Rosa Diaz Barclay, a woman who plunges into the unknown for the safety of her children and the love of a good but flawed man.
As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview.
Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa's resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.
As a flash flood traps them in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave-or foolhardy-enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa's first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to Berkeley, where a leading specialist offers their only hope of saving Ana and Miguel. Here in northern California, they create new identities to protect themselves from Rosa's vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents-officers representing a department often as corrupt as the Mob itself. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa's daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma Valley vineyard-despite the recent hardships of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal.
andquot;Jennifer Chiaverinis strength is not only writing strong female characters, but also placing them in interesting lives and times.andquot;
andquot;Fascinating . . . We seldom think beyond the battles and the generals, but the story of the home [front] is a compelling one. Although we might know how the big picture turned out, the individual stories presented here are rivetingly new.andquot;
“An outstanding series of novels about a fascinating craft.” —Booklist
“Strong female characters … in interesting lives and times.” —New York Journal of Books
andquot;Chiaverini has once again written an intense and beautiful book-so much so that readers will almost hear the hollow echo of the fife and drum as they immerse themselves in every compelling page . . . Truly unforgettable.andquot;
In 1862, the men of Water's Ford, Pennsylvania, rally to President Lincoln's call while Dorothea Granger marshals her friends to andquot;wield their needles for the Union.andquot; Meanwhile, Anneke Bergstrom hides the shame she feels for her husband's pacifism; gifted writer Gerda Bergstrom takes on local Southern sympathizers in the pages of the Water's Ford Register; and Constance Wright struggles to help her husband gain entry to the Union Army-despite the color of his skin. As the women work, hope, and pray, the men they love confront loneliness, boredom, and danger on the battlefield. But the women of the sewing circle also forge a new independence that will forever alter the patchwork of life in the Elm Creek Valley.
The New York Times bestselling author of the Elm Creek Quilts series joins the Dutton list with a Civil War-era tale of love and sacrifice behind Union lines.
With The Union Quilters, Chiaverini delivers a powerful story of a remarkable group of women coping with changing roles and the extraordinary experiences of the Civil War.
In 1862 Water's Ford, Pennsylvania, abolitionism is prevalent, even passionate, so the local men rally to answer Mr. Lincoln's call to arms. Thus the women of Elm Creek Valley's quilting bee are propelled into the unknown. Constance Wright, married to Abel, a skilled sharpshooter courageous enough to have ventured south to buy his wife's freedom from a Virginia plantation, knows well her husband's certainty that all people, enslaved and free, North and South, need colored men like him to fight for a greater purpose. Sisters-in-law Dorothea Nelson and Charlotte Granger wish safe passage for their learned husbands. Schoolmaster turned farmer Thomas carries Dorothea's Dove in the Window quilt with him. Charlotte's husband, Dr. Jonathan Granger, takes more than a doctor's bag to his post at a field hospital. Alongside the devotion of his wife, pregnant with their second child, Jonathan brings the promise he made to his unrequited love, Gerda Bergstrom: "My first letter will be to you."
Together with the other members of the circle, the women support one another through loneliness and fear, and devise an ingenious business plan to keep Water's Ford functioning. That plan may forever alter the patchwork of town life in ways that transcend even the ultimate sacrifices of war.
The New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series continues, with a novel that celebrates one of America's most romantic and enduring traditions.
Sarah McClure arrived at Elm Creek Manor as a newlywed, never suspecting that her quilting lessons with master quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson would inspire the successful and enduring business Elm Creek Quilts, whose members have nurtured a circle of friendship spanning generations.
The Wedding Quilt opens as the wedding day of Sarah's daughter Caroline approaches. As Sarah has learned, a union celebrates not only the betrothed couple's passage into wedlock, but also the contributions of those who have made the bride and groom the unique people they are. Thus Sarah's thoughts are filled with brides of Elm Creek Manor past and present-the traditions they honored, the legacies they bequeathed, and the wedding quilts that contain their stories in every stitch.
A wedding quilt is a powerful metaphor: of sisterhood, of community, of hope for the future. The blocks in Caroline's wedding quilt will display the signatures of beloved guests. As the Elm Creek Quilters circulate amid the festive preparations with pens and fabric in hand, memories of the Manor-and of the women who have lived there, in happiness and in sorrow-spill forth, rendering a vivid pastiche of family, friendship, and love in all its varieties.
This newest of the Elm Creek Quilts novels 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 Sylvia’s 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.
Resolving to locate her mother's heirloom quilts after so many years, Sylvia Compson embarks on a cross-country investigation of antique shops, quilt museums, and other, more unexpected places, where offers of assistance are not always what they seem. And as Sylvia recovers some of the missing quilts and accepts others as lost forever, she reflects on the woman her mother was and mourns the woman she never knew.
With heartfelt honesty, The Quilter's Legacy reveals the tenuous connections that bind generations and celebrates the love that sustains them.
reunites readers with the Elm Creek Quilters in this poignant and heartwarming follow-up to The Quilter's Apprentice
, Jennifer Chiaverini
's acclaimed debut novel.
"She chose green and blue for the colors of Elm Creek Manor. She chose blue for truth and green for new beginnings . . ."
The Elm Creek Quilters have begun a round robin...a quilt created by sewing concentric patchwork to a central block as it is passed around a circle of friends. Led by Sarah McClure, who came to Waterford, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Matt, a few years ago, the project is to be their gift to their beloved fellow quilter Sylvia Compson. But like the most delicate cross-stitch, their lives are held together by the most tenuous threads of happiness...and they can unravel.
As each woman confronts a personal crisis, a painful truth, or a life-changing choice, the quilt serves as a symbol of the complex and enduring bonds between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. In weaving together the harmonious, disparate pieces of their crazy-quilt lives, the Elm Creek Quilters come to realize that friendship is one of the most precious gifts we can give each other, and that love can strengthen understanding, lead to new beginnings, and illuminate our lives.
The New York Times
bestseller celebrates one of America’s most romantic and enduring traditions
As her daughter’s wedding day approaches, Sarah McClure reflects upon Elm Creek brides past and present—the traditions they honored, the legacies they bequeathed, the wedding quilts that contain their stories in every stitch.
Unexpectedly, Caroline confides, “I wish I had a wedding quilt, one I made myself.” Sarah yearns to grant her fervent wish, but even the most talented novice would be daunted by the task of stitching, mere days before the wedding, a worthy symbol of the couple's bonds of love, commitment, trust, and hope for the future. Turning to her cherished friends, the Elm Creek Quilters, Sarah asks them to pool their creative gifts. As the women stitch, their memories render a vivid pastiche of family, friendship, and love in all its varieties.
About the Author
Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as five collections of quilt projects inspired by the novels. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker is her most recent book. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.