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The Christmas Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts Series #8) Hardcover – November 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Home Library edition (November 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739458817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739458815
  • ASIN: 074328657X
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts novels, delivers a rich holiday tale that predates last year's Master Quilter, also set during the Christmas season. Sylvia Compson, née Bergstrom, 77, is determined to make it the dullest holiday ever at Elm Creek Manor, to which she returned, a year and a half ago, after 50 years of estrangement. Her Bergstrom relatives are gone; her memories of Christmas past are fraught. But young Sarah McClure, Sylvia's partner in the quilting camp that's brought Elm Creek back to life, wants to spend Christmas with Sylvia—and she wants it tinsel strewn. Home is here now, not with the mother who dislikes Sarah's husband, Matt. Sylvia reluctantly agrees to visit the trove of ornaments in the attic. As the women discover an unfinished Christmas quilt, a mixed bag of memories spills out along with the feathered star blocks: strudel making in the Depression; tree trimming during World War II, which claimed Sylvia's husband, brother and a baby born too soon because of her shock; memories of a sister, Claudia, who forfeits Sylvia's love until it's too late. Reconciliation and redemption: of course. But it's not won cheaply—there's no saccharine in this sweet story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

". . . a healthy dollop of history in a folksy style, while raising moral questions in a suspenseful narrative."
-- Publishers Weekly (Publisher's Weekly ) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the sixteen volumes in the Elm Creek Quilts series and four books of quilt patterns inspired by the novels, she designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics. For more information about Jennifer, please visit her website at www.elmcreek.net .

Customer Reviews

I found it interesting, easy reading.
Baboo
About a month ago, I began reading Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt series.
Mrs. Bear
I don't think you will be disappointed, just bored a bit.
Soozie Smythe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Every year at this time I look forward to reading a couple of good holiday books. So it was with some great anticipation that I picked up A Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. What could be better than a cup of hot tea on a cold winter's day here in the Northeast and visiting with my old friends at Elm Creek? But instead my tea grew cold as I found myself somewhere in between two books merely rehashing what I read in previous books. I imagine if I never read any of the other books I would run to read them but having read all of them I was disappointed in this small book. I would hate to think that the author like so many others churned out this book in an attempt to cash in at holiday time with a small offering based on their other books.

Because I enjoyed the other books so much and this did have its moments, I found out about the Bergstorm tradition of choosing each year's Christmas tree, I did rate it with a B. But my take on it is to read the other books in this series and save this one if you have nothing else to read. Final words a rehash and repetitive and lacked the feelings of the women I hoped to visit with for the holidays.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After five decades away from Elm Creek Manor, the estranged Sylvia Compson returned home too late make any amends with her deceased Bergstrom relatives. Now Christmas is coming, but the septuagenarian does not feel like celebrating her first Yuletide in her family home in fifty years.

Her quilting camp partner Sarah McClure and the youngster's spouse orchards gardener Matt plan to celebrate Yuletide at Elm Creek. Sarah feels some guilt that she is not going to visit her family, but believes the fault lies with her mother who overtly displays her loathing of Matt. Sarah persuades a reluctant Sylvia to go into the attic to look at the holiday ornaments where they find an unfinished Christmas quilt and the memories of the joys in spite of the Depression; the depression of loved ones dying during World War II, and much more. Sylvia regrets her stubbornness that is too late to mend fences and pleads with Sarah to square things with her mother.

Though fans of the Elm Creek Quilt series might be a bit confused as to the timing as this entry occurs before Sylvia marries Andrew (see last year's THE MASTER QUILTER), long time readers will enjoy the latest tale. The somewhat sugary story line contains a deep message that there is no time in life to hold grudges. Sarah is terrific as the attic mementos have her looking back on the joys, tragedies, and mistakes in her life. Though suited for those in the audience who have read most of the previous novels (memories will mean much more) because some newcomers might have some problems with what happened to whom, Jennifer Chiaverini provides a warm holiday tale that adds to the Elm Creek manor saga.

Harriet Klausner
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on May 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I must say I really agree with the reviewer who remarks that these novels are a guilty pleasure, they aren't the strongest written books, and yet I have been reading them compulsively. I while I enjoyed the ones with a historical bias at first, I find that I am more drawn to the modern ones lately. I looked at this one for several days before deciding to read it and I do wish I wasn't so addicted to them because I found this one a disappointment in the way the others weren't.

The conflict of generations - Sylvia in her 80's and wise but a little jaded, against Sarah her assistant in her 20's and bouyed by enthusiasm for Christmas and the holiday traditions. I just felt this had been written to take advantage of the American Christmas book market and not really with a strong story to bind it.

The whole issue of the bergstrom strudel recipe was uncompelling. I read and I enjoyed - but it was more of a flick through to finish it rather than deep enjoyment as I have with many of the others.

I have to say though that the reading of these novels has really inspired a love of quilting - well at least in theory, I have been getting out books on the library on quilting, and finally learned what pineapple quilting is, along with dozens of quilting blocks and their names. It is rather nice to have that background knowledge even if I have no real ability.

The only thing that puzzles me is that Sylvia with all her love of quilting, and historical quilts, why does she allow all these ancient quilts to be stored in the attic and not get them down?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on January 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Christmas is a fine time for a bit of nostalgia. A time for looking back on family now gone. Ms. Chiaverini uses her knowledge of the mental attitudes of quilters to bring back to life some of our favorite characters from the past books.

The opening of the boxes of old Christmas ornaments brings out one of her favorite aids to story telling, an unfinished Christmas quilt. The quilt had been started by great-aunt Lucinda and her mother and remains unfinished and basically forgotten until now.

Among the memories the quilt brings back is that of the rivalry, arguments, friction that existed between Sylvia and her sister Claudia. Claudia is now gone, and Sylvia realizes that she has missed something important that cannot be regained. She sees young Sarah making some of the same mistakes, but realizes that there is still time for them to get together before time pulls them apart forever.

That Ms. Chiaverini can pull this off without having the book turn sugar sweet is a tribute to her growing capabilities as a novelist.
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