Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini

Waiting on Wednesday is a way to showcase books that are not yet released but I am excited to see they are coming out. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini is the 12th in the Elm Creek Quilter series. The series is wonderfully character driven with many twists and turns over the years. I enjoy it immensely! And I am not a quilter, nor even crafty! It's just good stories!

Here's the description of the new book from Jennifer Chiaverini's website: Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson treasures an antique quilt called by three names—Birds in the Air, after its pattern; The Runaway Quilt, after the woman who sewed it; and The Elm Creek Quilt, after the place to which its maker longed to return. That quilter was Joanna, a fugitive slave who traveled by the Underground Railroad to reach safe haven in 1859 at Elm Creek Farm.

Though Joanna’s freedom proved short-lived—she was forcibly returned by slave catchers to Josiah Chester’s plantation in Virginia—she left the Bergstrom family a most precious gift, her son. Hans and Anneke Bergstrom, along with maiden aunt Gerda, raised the boy as their own, and the secret of his identity died with their generation. Now it falls to Sylvia--drawing upon Gerda’s diary and Joanna’s quilt--to connect Joanna’s past to the present of Elm Creek Manor.

Just as Joanna could not have foreseen that, generations later, her quilt would become the subject of so much speculation and wonder, Sylvia and her friends never could have imagined the events Joanna witnessed in her lifetime. Punished for her escape by being sold off to her master's brother in Edisto Island, South Carolina, Joanna grieves the loss of her son and resolves to run again, to reunite with him someday in the free North. Farther from freedom than she has ever been, she nevertheless finds allies, friends, and even love in the slave quarter of Oak Grove, a cotton planation where her skill with needle and thread soon become highly prized.

Through hardship and deprivation, Joanna's dreams of freedom and memories of Elm Creek Farm endure. Determined to remember each landmark on the route north, Joanna pieces a quilt from the cast-off scraps of the household sewing, concealing clues within the meticulous stitches. Later, in service as seamstress to the new bride of a Confederate officer, Joanna moves on to Charleston and to other secrets that will affect the fate of a nation, where Joanna’s abilities and courage enable her to aid the country and the people she loves most.

The knowledge that scraps can be pieced and sewn into simple lines, beautiful both in and of themselves and also for what they represent and what they could accomplish, carries Joanna through dark days. Sustaining herself and her family through ingenuity and art during the Civil War and into Reconstruction, Joanna leaves behind a remarkable artistic legacy that, at last, allows Sylvia to discover the fate of the long-lost quilter.


Scheduled to be released in late March!

3 comments:

the epic rat said...

I haven't read any Elm Creek Quilter series, but I'll have to look it up (I'm always interested in finding new mysteries). This 12th one sounds really interesting, but do you think it can stand-alone or do I have to check out the previous 11 books (which I'll do anyway)?

cecilia

bermudaonion said...

That sounds good. Should we start with the first book in the series?

Margot said...

Your description/review is excellent. I'm going to see if my library has this series. But this 12th book has me very interested. Thanks for the review.