I marvel at the craft of the work, the quiet architecture which allows the story to carry the load. Like the quilts described, the novel itself is carefully pieced together and each piece feels, sounds and is fat with history and meaning. This is a quiet, beautiful novel, full of gentle wisdom and genuine humility. It is a rare work these days.
— Percival Everett, author of FRENZY and WATERSHED
Chiaverini’s eye for detail coupled with an ability to breathe life into her characters ensures an engrossing period piece that does not fail to both entertain and inform. Fans of Civil War fiction and readers who enjoyed the author’s other historicals will find this title absorbing.
— Library Journal
THE RUNAWAY QUILT is a fascinating tale, exploring women's roles in our past and present. Jennifer Chiaverini will surely garner a large audience with this one.
— Jo-Ann Mapson, author of BAD GIRL CREEK and ALONG CAME MARY
“A perfect piece of historical fiction in this moment of questioning voter viability and legislation aimed at suppressing equal access. You will learn much and find astonishing comparisons to present day in this journey through one year of the suffrage movement.”
— Chelsia Rice, Montana Book Company Redux, Helena, MT
In this latest entry to the bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, quilting queen Bonnie Markham explores Hawaii and learns about the islands' quilting traditions while setting up a tropical quilt camp. Weary from a difficult divorce battle, Bonnie leaves beloved Elm Creek Manor and takes up her friend's invitation to start the camp; once in Hawaii, she gets to work on hiring staff and making her version of a Hawaiian quilt. When her mean-spirited ex-husband-to-be demands half her share in Elm Creek as part of the settlement, Bonnie takes drastic measures to protect the estate and her friends. Still, the big changes are hard to take, and Bonnie's not sure she can follow through. With homey details and a strong sense of the connections that bind women, friends, and families, Chiaverini (Circle of Quilters) lovingly crafts her tale about a woman stitching together a new life and a new project. Series fans will enjoy this latest entry, and those new to the quilting bee should have no problem finding their groove
— Publisher’s Weekly
Another in the fascinating Elm [Creek] Quilts series, this title is set during the Civil War, giving readers a look at the Union home front, with rallies, quilts for soldiers, fundraisers and the ladies who make up the Elm Creek Sewing and Quilting Circle… We seldom think beyond the battles and generals, but the story of the home [front] is a compelling one. Although we might know how the big picture turned out, the individual stories presented here are rivetingly new.
Elm Creek Farm is located in a little valley in Pennsylvania, near the town of Water's Ford. Like the towns around it, most people are strong Unionists and the farm was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Now the townsfolk are getting ready to send their men off to fight. The ladies' sewing circle has organized to send them off in style, with bunting decorating the buildings, a pageant, a parade, and speeches by the mayor and local ministers. Little do they know, but they will need those organizing skills a lot in the next few years. The group is varied — some immigrants, a free black woman, some feminists who believe that would should vote and control property — but they are united in their desire to support the troops.
When letters home describe the lack of supplies and decent food, the ladies rally to quilt blankets and to raise funds for bandages and other necessities. They also must take up the reins of the farms and businesses that the men left behind. Each woman in the circle may have a different strength, but together they are a moving force. And they don't intend to let the town fathers take over their efforts. As the war goes on, and the battles around Gettysburg devastate families and towns, we see the characters of the ladies as windows into the life and times of small-town Northern life.
Book of the Week: “An enchanting story about one woman’s struggle for intellectual recognition and independence.”
Jennifer Chiaverini's first novel is a heartwarming story of relationships that, like pieces of a quilt, can be connected with discord or with harmony. You'll discover friendship here, and you'll learn a thing or two about quilting, too.
— Sandra Dallas, author of THE PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB
“A compelling yet heartbreaking homage to the mother of computer science.”