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The Quilter's Homecoming: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (The Elm Creek Quilts Book 10) Kindle Edition

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chiaverini's latest Elm Creek Quilts installment suffers at the hands of its lackluster hero and heroine. Newlyweds Elizabeth and Henry leave Elizabeth's sprawling Pennsylvania family farm in 1925 to work a Southern California ranch Henry has bought sight unseen. As they ride the train out west, Chiaverini fills in the backstory of the Rodriguez family, the ranch's original owners, who lost the land in the 1880s. When the couple arrive in the picturesque valley, they discover they have been swindled into the poorhouse by an unscrupulous land broker who sold them a fake deed. Determined not to crawl back to their families, Henry works as a hired hand, while Elizabeth cooks for the Jorgenson family, the ranch's true owners. Dispirited and resentful, Henry rejects Elizabeth's encouragement and support, and Elizabeth must decide if the marriage is worth fighting for. On the page, the relationship between Henry and Elizabeth teeters between dull and nonexistent—which hinders the story of a young couple striving to make their marriage work. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the tenth entry in her popular series, Chiaverini branches off from a flashback in he Christmas Quilt (2005) to take up the early adulthood of Sylvia Bergstrom Compson's beloved older cousin Elizabeth. Despite four-year-old Sylvia's efforts to keep her from leaving, Elizabeth Bergstrom marries neighbor Henry Nelson at Elm Creek Manor in Pennsylvania in 1925 and moves to southern California, where Henry has bought a cattle ranch. Predictably, plans go awry when the newlyweds find that Henry has been bilked; just as predictably, Elizabeth copes, as Bergstrom women do, even being charitable to those in greater need. The Nelsons' tale is intertwined with that of three generations of the Diaz family, original owners of the Arboles Valley land Henry thought he had bought, and in both families quilts prove to be the tangible expressions of their makers' emotions. Chiaverini's calm narrative blunts even tragedy as the death count reaches double figures, virtue is rewarded, and Bergstrom family ethics and the value of the craft of quilting are perpetuated. A reliably pleasant addition to the series, this should please its fans. Michele Leber
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 681 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 10, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 10, 2007
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000PDYVM0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Corinne H. Smith VINE VOICE on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Once again we follow Chiaverini's lead as her Elm Creek series temporarily leaves central Pennsylvania. But don't despair! This installment provides historical background so that we can piece together (!) the ancestry of some of our favorite characters.

Half of the two-part plot focuses on Elizabeth, Sylvia's cousin, as she accompanies her new husband to California in 1925. Together the newlyweds plan to get into the ranching business in the verdant Arboles Valley, north of Los Angeles. Things don't quite work out as planned, but Elizabeth and Henry Nelson are strong enough to make the most of their situation. Will they really ride out their difficulties in California? Or will Henry send Elizabeth back to Pennsylvania and the Bergstrom family?

The other half of the story belongs to Isabel Rodriguez, whom we first join in 1875. Much of the land of the Arboles Valley, including its signature apricot orchards, belonged to Isabel's family for generations. But drought and development prey on their ancestral lands, and eventually a Norwegian family named Jorgensen takes over the property. That day marks the beginning of seemingly bad times for the Rodriguezes, and then the Diazes, and for Isabel and her family in particular. When her daughter Rosa is courted by two men -- one of them, Lars Jorgensen -- the right choice to make seems clear. But is it? And once made, how can a woman at the turn of the last century deal with an abusive relationship?

This tale-told-in-tandem is simply mesmerizing, as we switch scenes from Elizabeth to Isabel / Rosa, slightly off-kilter because of the time discrepancy. But of course we know full well that the threads will come together at some point. The quilts in these women's lives provide part of the connection.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. M. Anderson on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In a world where anyone who wants a quilt can go to a department store and for less than $100.00 walk away with a "handmade"item, a book set in an era where such an heirloom as a quilt sewn by hand with the recipient in mind may seem out of place. Unless, of course, you consider the hundreds of thousands of women all over the world who welcome more women (and men) to their ranks each year to do exactly that. Yes, the mechanics have changed from needle, thread and scissors to sewing machines, long arm quilting machines and rotary cutters, but the connecting threads are still the same. Making a quilt is a labor of love and each choice of fabric and pattern reflect the quilt maker and her hopes and dreams for the recipient.

"The Quilter's Homecoming" is the story of Sylvia Compson's dear elder cousin Elizabeth who is a young bride adventurously setting off from Pennsylvania to California with her new husband to find her fortune. Taking with her the legacy of quilting, hard work, and common sense, she represents well the Bergstrom women who showed her by example what it took to make a marriage work.

Readers looking for more of the characters in "Circle of Quilters" had best not look to "The Quilter's Homecoming" to satisfy their appetites. Readers who enjoyed "The Runaway Quilt" and "The Sugar Camp Quilt" are sure to relish yet another story set in the past, this time in the dawning of the twentieth century.

Jennifer Chiaverini's stories, to me, are like quilts. Each one is different but beautiful in a unique way. She doesn't write the same story again and again, simply changing the characters and settings; just like I don't make the same log cabin or nine patch quilt again and again simply changing the colors.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Dalrymple VINE VOICE on May 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Moving to southern California to start their lives as newly weds on "Triumph Ranch," Elizabeth and Henry Nelson leave their idyllic homes in Pennsylvania and take a train to their new lives. It's the 1920s; things looked bright and Henry is excited about making his fortune raising cattle. Elizabeth, although saddened about leaving the only home she'd known since birth, dreams of bobbing her hair, shortening her skirts and possibly being discovered by a movie producer.

Upon arriving at the ranch site, the Nelson's find things aren't as they had envisioned. Disappointed, but not discouraged, they get to work and make the best of their situation.

Friends are to be made in southern California, and stories of these new friends to be told. As with the other Elm Creek Quilts novels, quilts and their histories are intertwined with new friends and play an important part in The Quilter's Homecoming.

Among Elizabeth's new friends is Rosa, the wife of John Barclay. Although the postmaster in Arboles Valley - the geographical location of several ranches - John avoids familiarity with his neighbors, and has a private side he refuses to reveal. Rosa leads a sad life due to the loss and illness of several of her children. Fortunately, two of her children thrive and bring some light into Rosa's life, but even these two children don't do the same for John.

The Quilter's Homecoming held my interest from beginning to end. There is just enough mystery to keep the reader turning pages, enough intrigue to keep the reader wanting to know what's going to happen next.

The characters are well written and I could emphasize and identify with them.
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