About the book:
Elm Creek Quilts, the thriving artists' retreat at Elm Creek Manor, is a place that stakes its sterling reputation on the palpable creative energy and collective goodwill of its teachers and students. But when two of its founding members decide to leave the fold, the Elm Creek Quilters face untold changes not only in their personal lives but also in their business. As the news spreads, a single question emerges: Who can possibly take their place?
An Elm Creek Quilter must not only possess mastery of quilting technique but teaching experience, a sense of humor, and that intangible quality that allows an individual to blend harmoniously into a group. With high hopes, Elm Creek Quilts posts an open call for applicants.
Suddenly, quilters everywhere are vying to land the prestigious post. Among the candidates are Maggie, whose love of history shines through in all her projects; Anna, a quilter and a chef whose food-themed quilts are wonderfully innovative; Russ, the male quilter whose pathbreaking style could lend Elm Creek Quilts an intriguing aesthetic departure; Karen, a novice teacher whose preternatural gifts for language complement her deep understanding of the quilters' mission; and Gretchen, the soulful veteran with a legacy steeped in quilting tradition.
"We must evaluate all of the applicants' qualities," advises Master Quilter Sylvia Compson. "Our choice will say as much about us and what we want for Elm Creek Quilts as it says about those we decide to hire." In the course of the members' careful deliberations, cherished memories resurface and inspiring visions for the future take shape. Only by understanding the meaning of what their own labors have wrought canthey select the ones who have earned a place among the circle of quilters.
This was my least favorite novel of the Elm Creek series. Two of the original quilters are leaving and the others interview people to take their places. Each chapter is about one of the interviewees. I found it difficult to get through. The only person I enjoyed reading about was Russ, the lone, male quilter. The others, especially Anna and her boyfriend and Karen and her husband, were more extreme caricatures, and annoying. And main character Diane, who is annoying and rude on a good day, is vicious here. She has her "reason" but her actions just serve to make the reader angry. I've enjoyed these novels, so this one disappointed me. I'd suggest reading it for the sake of the series, but not because it's a great book.