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The Quilter's Legacy: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (The Elm Creek Quilts) Paperback – April 5, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Chiaverini's fifth and best Elm Creek Quilts novel again stitches together a patchwork of American life. This time she focuses on Elm Creek Quilts founder Sylvia Bergstrom Compson and her search for five quilts made by her mother, Eleanor, who died when Sylvia was 10. Sylvia and Eleanor's stories alternate, as Sylvia, an elderly widow now recovered from a stroke, prepares to marry her friend Andrew despite his children's opposition, while at the turn of the century, Eleanor, daughter of an affluent New York family, defies her mother by attending a suffragette meeting and quilting with her beloved nanny, Amelia Langley. When Eleanor's sister, Abigail, elopes with her father's business rival, Eleanor also runs away rather than be forced to marry Abigail's jilted fianc. On her way out the door, Eleanor is offered a ride by Fred Bergstrom, which becomes the beginning of a long life together on his Pennsylvania horse farm at Elm Creek. The novel's high point is the poignantly detailed description of the flu epidemic of 1918. Less historical but equally touching is Eleanor's aging mother's arrival at the horse farm. Chiaverini's storytelling skills have noticeably improved. She approaches but never succumbs to sentimentality and keeps her account of hunts for antique quilts from becoming too predictable. She remains a keener observer of subtleties in quilts than in people, and more adept at capturing friendship than romance, but her gift for visual imagery (Abigail going down with the Titanic; Eleanor's quilts recast as wearable art) and gentle humor (a museum exhibit's explanation of one quilt's origins) blend seamlessly into prose that, like the needlework she portrays, proves intricate, lovely, comforting and uniquely American.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In this fifth work in a beloved series, Sylvia's hunt to find her dead mother's missing quilts helps her discover a past she never knew.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I highly recommend this book.
Until now, the second novel in the series was my favorite, but I agree with other reviewers that this one is the best yet.
The background on Sylvia's family of origin and early childhood are an interesting story in of themselves and add so much to the complex character Chiaverini has created in Sylvia Compson. The details about the Spanish flu are chilling and helped me put some of my own family's history into perspective, since my grandmother lost a newborn in that epidemic. The description of how it affected the Bergstrom family brought tears to my eyes as I pictured my grandparents' tragedy.
Although I loved the historic family saga most, the story of Sylvia and Andrew and Sylvia's search for her mother's quilts is interesting, too; and there is much food for thought in contemplating Sylvia and Andrew's December relationship and Andrew's family's less-than-supportive reaction. I'm sure we haven't heard the last word on that situation, and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.