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Monday, February 25, 2008

The Quilter's Homecoming

About the book:
Newly wed in a festive yet poignant ceremony at Elm Creek Manor, bride Elizabeth Nelson takes leave of her ancestral Pennsylvania home. Setting off with her husband, Henry, on the adventure of a lifetime, Elizabeth packs the couple's trunk with more than the wedding quilts she envisions them dreaming beneath every night of their married lives. They are landowners who hold the deed to Triumph Ranch, 120 acres of prime California soil located in the Arboles Valley, north of Los Angeles.

"Triumph Ranch," says Mae, a traveling companion whom Elizabeth has let in on the promise of the Nelsons' bright future. "That sounds like a sure thing." But in a cruel reversal of fortune, the Nelsons arrive to the news that they've been had, and they are left suddenly, irrevocably penniless.

They are hired as hands at the farm they thought they owned, and Henry struggles mightily with his pride. Yet clever, feisty Elizabeth -- drawing on her share of the Bergstrom women's inherent economy and resilience -- vows to defy fate through sheer force of will. As her life intertwines with Rosa Diaz Barclay, native to the Arboles Valley and a fellow quilter, their blossoming friendship sheds light on many secrets that have kept each of them and their families from their rightful homes.

In the cabin where Henry and Elizabeth are living on Triumph Ranch, Elizabeth discovers quilts belonging to Rosa's mother, and in their exquisite patterns recognizes a misplaced legacy of love, land,and family. But her newfound understanding of the burden of loss that Rosa shares with the mysterious Lars Jorgensen places her in mortal danger. Only by stitching the rift between the past and the future can the inhabitants of Triumph Ranch hope to live in peace alongside history.

Book 10 in the Elm Creek Quilter's series. This one goes back in time to the 1920s and the depression years in California. Like the other books, it involves an ancestor of Sylvia Compson, and like all her other ancestors, this woman quilts. Chiaverini has a nice formula. She writes about quilting, family, women and relationships and ties it all together with facts about quilting and patterns.

I enjoyed this novel, although not as much as I've enjoyed some of her others. This one was a very fast read. Enjoyable, but somewhat predictable. I was almost able to skim it and still enjoy the plot and characters. Elizabeth and her husband are taken by a con artist and purchase a farm that doesn't exist. They swallow their pride and work for the family who owns the property. I like Elizabeth's strength and her faith in herself and her husband.

If you've enjoyed the Elm Creek series, you will enjoy the book. It's not a necessary read to further the series though.

Read 2/08

* * *
3/5 Stars

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