©2008 Jennifer Chiaverini; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
There are no surprises here; this is Chiaverini and Elm Creek Manor. If you're a fan, you know these people and this novel expands upon their adventures. If you aren't familiar with the series, this is probably not the ideal place to start as I think you need to know these characters in order to appreciate the "fleshing out" of each of their stories that this book offers. If you enjoy these books at all, you will come to care about these characters. This book helps that along.
I think Christina Moore is really excellent as a narrator for Chiaverini's books. She gives each character an individual voice that actually mirrors well the personality that is revealed in these sweet, simple stories. I especially like the voices she gives Sylvia, Sarah and Diane.
This story picks up the thread begun in "A Circle of Quilters", with Elm Creek Manor preparing for the departure of two of its founding members and brings two new Elm Creek Quilters into the fold. "Circle" was my first Elm Creek novel and I really enjoyed it, which is why I began reading and listening to the others. This one fleshes out some of the original characters' stories. I especially enjoyed learning more about Judy and how she came to the group and I also really enjoy Diane's character, so liked very much the "further adventures of Diane and Mary Ann." I won't give anything away, but it was fun to read.
Final comment ... I don't quilt, although I'm tempted by these books. However, I figure these women must have more quilts than any other human beings on Earth. And I wonder if they ever give any gift that isn't a quilt! You know.. a book or a bracelet or a pan of brownies!
I live to sew and sew to live. I love being able to listen to these wonderful stories of women lives, friendships and challenges while I'm sewing. You really don't need to know how to sew or quilt to appreciate thesae stories. I have also listened while driving and not wanted to get out of the car after an entire day of driving.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I'm a big fan of Jennifer Chiaverini and her Elm Creek Quilt books . . . this one was good, but had a lot of "filler" from past books . . . at the same time some childhood memories were new and very touching to me . . . I continue to be touched by Sarah's relationship with her mother . . . and hurt right along with her at her mother's inability to connect emotionally with her daughter . . . understanding her pain in a way that I wish I did not . . . all told, I wish the book had taken us farther into the stories of the birth of Sarah's twins, Judy's move and what Bonnie decides to do with the rest of her life . . . still, a satisfying listen . . .
This was a great summation of each of the founding members and added depth to stories previously shared about them. Liked the chapter styles (one per character).
I'll admit up front I'm not a huge Chiaverini fan. I am a quilter, though, and I think she's the best "quilt writer" out there, so I've listened to quite a few of her audio books. I wish I had skipped this one. As far as I can tell, this is simply a rehashing of other books and other stories, with a little padding to fill in some of the characters' backgrounds. There's no discernible plot, and I was left wondering what in the world happened to the story in this novel.
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