Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts novels are as lovingly crafted and heartwarming as the homemade quilts featured prominently in each story. The milestone 20th entry in this charming series, The Giving Quilt chronicles the week after Thanksgiving- Quiltsgiving- as residents of Elm Creek Manor find creative ways to answer the question, ''Why do you give?''
©2012 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2012 Recorded Books
To say I was extremely disappointed in the latest Elm Creek quilt novel is an understatement. Had Ms. Chiaverini followed previous formats this may have been an enjoyable book. Under the guise of introducing us to new quilters as we revisit Elm Creek Manor, Ms Chiaverini misleads purchasers by instead presenting a book in which she can expound her political views of outrage against elected officials trying to reign in expenses and balance budgets. One of her story lines was of a California librarian who fears the loss of her job, painting a negative picture of anyone who would dare support the need to curtail library services in favor of other vital service as being ignorant and selfish. The taxpayers who voted against a tax increase to save the librarian’s job are portrayed as uninformed even though a millage increase might negatively affect their ability to actually stay afloat. She even takes a swipe at private schools whose libraries are staffed by parent volunteers as being ineffective as a resource to students when she laments that some public schools have cut back on library services. The story even included of all things a book burning demonstration against the library to show how intolerant are those who do not subscribe to Ms. Chiaverini’s political point of view.
I loved the Elm Creek Quilter series and had purchased every novel and the quilt instruction books..........until this book. I had even discussed with other quilters at a quilt shop one day how badly I felt when Ms. Chiaverini wrote the Wedding Quilt as I thought it was the end of her series. Now I am sorry it wasn't.
I have read almost all of the Jennifer Chiaverini "Quilters" books and I have thoroughly enjoyed ALL of them. Prior to purchasing this audio book, I read several of the reviews, the latest few were not very impressed with this book, calling it preachy, etc. I can't say I necessarily disagree; it IS very different from the other books in this series save the setting and the characters. However, I can't say that the title of the book sort of hints to the fact that this is going to be a little more 'political' in its premise. "The Giving Quilt" and the description lends to the fact that the quilters will be donating quilts to Project Linus. Why does Project Linus give quilts to people? What type of subject matter will this book probably be delving into? Yes, I would say that the book WAS written from a slanted angle, but isn't that most fiction? I do think that the author was right on the mark with the world view on many of the issues discussed. I liked this book, although, as I said earlier, it is a different tone than previous books.
I have read or listened to every one of the Elm Creek series.
No, but I was chagrined by the social propaganda so prevalent in the book. The author usually presents social issues in her books but none so overt as this. It was...preachy, and off-putting for me. I will think twice about buying another, at least until I have read others' reviews first.
She's a great reader. Very consistent.
My favorite books in the Elm Creek Series are without a doubt those that take place partly in the Civil War Era, tracing Sylvia's family through that fascinating time in US history. A particular favorite is The Union Quilters, although any of the books with the character Joanna was special. I appreciated the author's research and presentation. She brought the history alive. (I would watch THESE as movies!)
As a quilter I typically love Elm Creek Quilt books but this one was so obviously thrown together at the last minute. It is a hodgepodge of character stories that have been pieced together poorly and generated very little interest. If I hadn't been on a road trip and stuck in a car I never would have finished this. Chiavernini dumps far too much social commentary into the stories and even when I agreed with her I felt annoyed by her tactics. Stick to the original characters that we all love.
Make it a novel as opposed to a series of short stories
I've read all of the books in the series, and now I wonder whether this is something new or whether I'm just less tolerant. There wasn't much of a story line. There were, I suppose, five story lines for each of the characters who become central to the story. Each of them was going through various problems, many of which have to do with the current social-political climate of the country. Even though I agree with most of her positions, it just made for a tedious book.
After reading all of the Elm Creek series, and the last last one in particular, which gave a picture of the characters' lives 20 is years in the future, I was leery when ordering another. Chiaverini did an excellent job though adding new characters who each had a story to tell. I stayed with the story and was not disappointed.
It was well thought out, researched and delivered. I especially liked the surprise ending of the doctor coming back to the community. Everyone learned, including me, in this story.
The narrator's voice in depicting the characters was very well done.
When the doctor's wife asked for Gerdie's (?) help is saving her husband.
More along these lines are appreciated.
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