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The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel Hardcover – October 30, 2012

Book 20 of 20 in the Elm Creek Quilts Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Chiaverini delivers another satisfying Elm Creek Quilst story in the latest title in this excellent series. “Quiltsgiving,” held after Thanksgiving for Elm Creek campers, is tied this year to Project Linus, the organization that makes blankets for critically ill children. Updates on the recurring characters, including Sarah and Sylvia, are present but take a backseat to the engrossing stories of six women attending the retreat. A young woman uses the camp for a college service project while recovering from a leg injury. A librarian camper recounts her fight to keep her branch open amid censorship and budget cuts. Others deal with loss, including one woman who missed out on a job at Elm Creek. This volume features the series at its best, with warm, fully realized characters and powerful themes. The Project Linus and quilting details provide a nice overlay but do not overpower the story, making it enjoyable even for nonquilters. Debbie Macomber fans will enjoy this series. --Amy Alessio


Praise for Jennifer Chiaverini and the Elm Creek Quilts series
“Chiaverini’s themes of love, loss, and healing will resonate with many, and her characters’ stories are inspiring.” —Publishers Weekly

“Jennifer Chiaverini has made quite a name for herself with her bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series. From the Civil War to the Roaring Twenties to contemporary settings, these novels have offered suspense, romance, and, at times, in-depth looks into the social, political, and cultural differences that helped shape a nation.” —BookPage

“Chiaverini excels at weaving stories and at character development. We can relate to the residents of Elm Creek Valley because they remind us of folks we know—a cousin, an aunt, or a grandmother.” —Standard-Examiner (Utah)

“Jennifer Chiaverini’s strength is not only writing strong female characters, but also placing them in interesting lives and times.” —New York Journal of Books --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953609
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,625 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

Politics aside, I found the book much too wordy.
The book also helped remind me to not be afraid of difficult people/situations.
Beautifully written story - very good development of characters.
Victoria Edmiston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have loved reading the Elm Creek Quilt series for many years now and bought them as gifts for my mother and mother-in-law. Some I liked more than others, but really enjoyed them tremendously until the eighteenth in the series, "The Wedding Quilt". I gave that one a 3-star rating since it felt rushed and jumpy - not up to the usual quality. I totally skipped the next one since it wasn't set at the manor and the subject seemed so dark. When this latest became available, I decided to give it another go since the setting was back at Elm Creek during the holiday season indicating I would probably like the story.

You can read the product description for yourself so I won't go into that very much here. I would like to share that very little of the Elm Creek Quilters are actually part of the story. They are in the opening set-up and the closing but the middle is largely the stories of some of the women coming to the camp the week after Thanksgiving. I didn't mind the departure since there is only so much you can write about the same people without it getting stale.

About 80 pages into it I came onto Amazon to read the reviews since I was enthused and wanted to see if others had shared my experience. I was enjoying it thoroughly and felt like I was back in the flow of the interesting storyline and excellent writing that had been missing more recently. I was surprised to see how many folks were complaining about the political tone of the book since I wasn't experiencing that. Around page 100, I began to see exactly what the other reviewers were commenting on. The story of each quilter is expanded and as those unfold, the social and political views of the author are very, very obvious.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Ann H. Senge on February 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have been a big fan of the Elm Creek Quilt books for years and have read every one of them. By far my favorite ones are the historical ones. I personally have contributed to Project Linus quilts for years, so I was thrilled to see that this book was about quilters quilting for this cause. I have discovered, however, that in her recent books, especially those set in present day, Ms. Chiaverini's liberal politics tip toe, or in this case sledge hammer through. She has abandoned character development by having her characters simply push her political viewpoints. May I remind her that not all her readers are of the same political mind, and in this day and age of 24/7 political arguments, readers are seeking an escape not looking for a discourse on the political questions of the day. Unfortunately some of the characters in parts of this book engage in exactly that. Character development was Chiaverini's strong point. She has now taken up a very formulamatic approach to her characters. Oh and by the way it is just not liberals that donate quilts to Project Linus, over the past 20 years I have made hundreds of baby quilts and donated them to Project Linus, ABC quilts, local neo natal units, and homeless shelters, and have encouraged my quilting group at my church to do the same.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Valley Brown on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jennifer Chiaverini's "The Giving Quilt" is about far more than the immediate charity of quilters who gather at venerable Elm Creek Manor to donate their time and talents to make children's quilts for Project Linus. When hostess/Master Quilter Sylvia poses the question "Why do you give?" to the circle of quilters, few have ready answers. The creation of a quilt for someone in need is not merely a generous act. It is also an act that provides a measure of self-healing, and the women who have come to participate in "Quiltsgiving" are no exception to this rule. For some, the journey to Elm Creek is but the beginning of an individual journey to find the answer that lies deep within them.
Chiaverini's gentle and fluid style pieces characters together with as much care and precision as the quilts they make. Like carefully chosen scraps of treasured fabrics joined one after another into a compelling visual feast, the stories of the quilters unfold gracefully to reveal the powerful reasons behind each one's decision to make this special trip. "The Giving Quilt" is a well-crafted, heart-warming journey of its own, and a commendable addition to the beloved "Elm Creek Quilts" series.
[Note: I was gifted with a copy of this book, and was pleased with how good of a read it was. I highly recommend it for fans of this genre.]
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By sara on February 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Oh my. Not at all what I expected from this book. I have enjoyed other books in this series very much, but was very disappointed in this book. The character development was just predictable, and the characters were "flat" to me. The author's political viewpoints were pushed WAY too much. I dare say, some of her readers are of the opposite political viewpoint as she ... I wonder if she thinks they appreciate the slant of this book. If she wants to write a political book, she has every right, but "know your audience" might apply here. Reasonable readers of any political stripe might expect a bit more nuance, and some gray areas, but the book portrayed everything in a very black and white way. That was unfortunate, as it detracted from what could have been a much better developed storyline. The "giving" part of the book, and the plot, and the character development all took a back seat to political browbeating. That's not why I read her books, and I'm not sure I will chance another one.
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