Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: The Wedding Quilt

The Wedding Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts - Book 18) by Jennifer Chiaverini

Publication Date: November 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Inspirational
Pages: Hardcover, 336pp
ISBN-13: 9780525952428
ISBN: 052595242X

(Received for an honest review from Dutton)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jennifer Chiaverini on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from The Wedding Quilt

Video: Jennifer Chiaverini describes her inspiration for the Elm Creek Quilts Series.


Celebrate one of America's most romantic and enduring traditions with The Wedding Quilt.

Sarach McClure arrived at Elm Creek Manor as a newlywed, never suspecting that her quilting lessons with Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson would inspire the successful and enduring business Elm Creek Quilts, whose members have nurtured a circle of friendship spanning generations. 

As the wedding day of Sarah's daughter, Caroline, approaches, Sarah's thoughts are filled with brides of Elm Creek Manor past and present - the traditions they honored, the legacies they bequeathed, the wedding quilts that contain their stories in every stitch.

Because Sarah learned the craft after her marriage, she had no wedding quilt, only one to commemorate her first anniversary. When the young bride confides in her mother a single, fervent wish - "I wish I had a wedding quilt, one I made myself" - Sarah yearns to grant it.

A wedding quilt is a symbol so powerful that even the most-talented novice would be daunted by the task of stitching, in mere days, a masterpiece worthy of the couple's bonds of love, commitment, trust, and hope for the future. Sarah turns to the Elm Creek Quilters, cherished friends who help her create a fitting tribute for her beloved daughter who will soon stand beside her husband in the union of their shared lives.

As they pool their creative gifts, memories of Elm Creek Manor - and of the women who have lived there, in happiness and in sorrow - spill forth, rendering a vivid pastiche of family, friendship and love in all its varieties.


The 18th book in the Elm Creek Quilt series, The Wedding Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini takes readers on a journey through the past, present and future. Chiaverini uses a variety of literary techniques to bring this story to life, including flash backs, futuristic gadgets and memories from various characters. The author has a strong fan base and does not disappoint with her latest book in the series, which ties up several loose ends while staying true to the original concept. 

Chiaverini's background as a quilter serves her well in this series. It is obvious that she is well versed in quilting and the quilting community giving a real authenticity to the series. Both of my grandmothers were avid quilters and I have been around quilting all my life. I found the stories in the series to be very credible and the historical references to be accurate. I thought Chiaverini did an excellent job of creating these wonderful quilters and telling there stories. 

In The Wedding Quilt, Sarah one of the founding members of the Elm Creek Quilters is preparing for the wedding of her daughter Caroline. Sarah has been one of my favorite characters in the series to date. She is a woman who has a old spirit about her and I think readers will really identify with her. She is all about her family and the women in her quilting circle. She is very creative and full of energy. She is really the driving character in the series. Chiaverini gives readers a character that they will love to read about and in this book she continues to tell the story of the Elm Creek brides.

This is a series that has captivated readers for a very long time. But as sometimes happens, every set of characters can outlive it's story potential. There seems to be a ring of finality in The Wedding Quilt because it answers many of the questions that Chiaverini has left hanging including what happens to Summer a character from a previous book in the series, as well as the conclusion of what happens with Anna and Jeremy. Readers will get to see what has happened to just about everyone in the years that have elapsed between The Aloha Quilt and The Wedding Quilt

The Wedding Quilt is basically a re-cap of plots that make up previous books in the series. This would give new readers an idea of everything that has gone one before, but may be a bit of stretch for long time readers of the series. Die-hard Elm Creek fans will definitely like the fact that a lot of loose ends are tied up, but I'm sure they all hope that this is leading to change in the series and not an ending. 

This is a very clean series and it is very well written. I recommend it readers who are looking for a great long running series that centers around a group of re-occurring characters. Readers who are interested in quilting will find this series particularly enjoyable. It is very authentic and real and mixes both past, present, and future together to create a great series. 
The Wedding Quilt is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as five collections of quilt projects inspired by the novels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.