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Sonoma Rose (Elm Creek Quilts Novels (Dutton Hardcover)) Hardcover – February 21, 2012

159 customer reviews
Book 19 of 19 in the Elm Creek Quilts Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive, showcasing the effects of Prohibition on farmers in Sonoma Valley."  — Romantic Times

"[An] emotionally compelling tale."
Chicago Tribune

"Chiaverini does an excellent job of describing the lush landscapes of California wine country, while simultaneously painting a touching portrait of the difficulties faced by farming families who must tend to one another, as well as the earth."
Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Elm Creek Quilt Series:

"Imparts a healthy dollop of history in a folksy style, while raising moral questions in a suspenseful narrative." —Publishers Weekly

"Warm and wise, full of quilting lore...One of the beauties of this series is that readers can start at the beginning or jump to the end. Each novel stands alone, while for devoted followers, each new volume is like a visit with old friends." —The South Cheatham Advocate (Kingston Springs, TN)

"Come os the most compelling characters you'll ever want to meet." —Green Bay Press Gazette

"A new generation of quilters embraces the craft with gusto...following the lead of author Jennifer Chiaverini." —Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts books...have become classics of their kind." —The Dallas Morning News

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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Product Details

  • Series: Elm Creek Quilts Novels (Dutton Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; 1 edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952640
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of MRS. LINCOLN'S DRESSMAKER, MRS. LINCOLN'S RIVAL, THE SPYMISTRESS, MRS. GRANT AND MADAME JULE, and other acclaimed historical novels. She also wrote the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, "In addition to simply being fascinating stories, these novels go a long way in capturing the texture of life for women, rich and poor, black and white, in those perilous years."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell VINE VOICE on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a Beautiful Cover!

In previous editions we were reminded that some of Sylvia Berstrom's relatives had migrated to California. Sonoma Rose starts with a little of that history, picking up where The Quilter's Homecoming, that was published in 2007 left off.

We meet Elizabeth Bergstrom Nelson's friend, Rosa Diaz as the country is coping with all the restrictions of Prohibition. Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease currently afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Her abusive husband refuses to take them into the city so the children can see a doctor. His mind is clearly on other things, like his fancy car and keeping secrets about his business dealings from his wife. 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.

Dollycas's Thoughts
This is the Jennifer Chiaverini I love to read. I think she lost her way a little bit wrapping up the current characters in The Wedding Quilt. This story shines a brilliant light on her masterful storytelling talent.

This is Rosa's story. She is yet another strong female heroine created by Chiaverini that has you engaged from the moment we step back into her life. You will feel a wide range of emotions during her story, anger, fear, hope and joy. The bonds of friendship are as strong as all the other books in this series. The power of love from a mother's love for her children to the enduring love between a man and a woman are woven wondrously through these pages. This story was absolutely amazing. I couldn't put it down.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By The Curious Dame on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini is fascinating novel set during Prohibition in the southern United States. I loved the retro cover. It reminded me of many classic novels that I enjoyed so many years ago, or finding an old dusty classic hidden at the back of a library's bookshelf. This novel weaves through time as it follows the trials Rosa and Lars face as they attempt to escape their past and avoid treachery in their new life. One immediately feels sympathy for poor Rose who is trapped in a loveless marriage with an embittered man who refuses to provide the necessary care for her ill children and regularly abuses her.

This is an epic story that weaves itself over several years and takes the reader into the heart of wine country during the era of Prohibition. The author gave us an in-depth look at the struggle of vineyard owners at a time when wine-making was severely and how they struggled to survive. Insight was also given as to how celiac disease was first diagnosed and treated.

The novel was easy to read. Its characters, both protagonist and antagonist, were well written and realistic. It is nice to learn about lesser known eras in unusual settings, and this novel certainly made that mark. Beautiful prose, rich descriptions, and an endearing story of courage and hope make this an awesome read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Jo Davis VINE VOICE on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sonoma Rose is a great book with a branding problem. Although labeled as an "Elm Creek Quilts Novel" it has next to nothing to do with that series. It also has only a few words about quilts in the entire book so I'm not suprised that some readers are disappointed.

The only connection to Elm Creek Quilts is in the friendship between Elizabeth Nelson and Rosa Barclay. Elizabeth is related to Sylvia Compton of the Elm Creek Quilts novels but she only appears in this book only briefly hence the branding confusion. If readers can accept that this book is NOT an Elm Creek Quilt novel nor is it about quilts then they can judge it on it's own merits.

That being said... I loved the book. It takes place during prohibition and gives a reader the other side of the story by sharing what happened to winemakers and their families when their very livelihood was pulled out from under them.

The main character, Rosa, is a good woman stuck in a bad situation. She is in love with one man but marries another and that never goes well. Rosa and her husband John have several children but they all become ill and die very young. John becomes abusive and gets involved in bootlegging and Rosa has no real choice but to leave him to try to save her remaining children. She reunites with the man she loves and they sacrifice everything to go on the run.

This book is really about what one person does to protect their children, their family and their way of life. I loved this book and hope that others give it a chance.
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48 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Wicked on March 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book has been the 3rd disappointment from the Elm Creek Quilts series. I no longer buy the books but sit on the waiting list at the local library. The story was not uplifting. It deals with abuse and darkness. Ms. Chiaverini seems to have drifted into a different genre. I don't expect to have a book that is supposed to be "An Elm Creek Quilters Novel" be a history lesson. Any quilting in the book was so secondary that it wasn't even worth putting in the book. She seems to dwell in dark areas and dark times. In this day and age I want to read something like her first novels, there were problems but not abuse and murder and rape. I don't care that she wants to write this type of book but, don't try to pass it off as one of the series. And by the way, if you don't agree with my review of the book, please write your own review. Do not send me snide comments about my opinion of the book.
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