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Circle of Quilters By Jennifer Chiaverini

circle-of-quilters-by-jennifer-chiaveriniThis is the most recent in the Elm Creek Quilt novel series. As in all of the other novels these are the stories of women and the stories of their quilts. In this installment, we meet all of the original members of the Elm Creek Quilters and we are introduced to some new and wonderful women who would like to work at the quilt camp. The lives of these characters reflect the lives of women today, and of the past through the stories of their quilts.

The quilting history is very interesting to a quilter - and perhaps would encourage women to want to learn to quilt if they do not already.

The Elm Creek Quilters are looking for new staff members to teach at their quilting retreat.

There are several candidates - all with the potential to be not only good teachers, but to become members of this very strong group of friends.

There is a young mother, wishing she could find some meaningful work part-time while raising her young children, as she struggles with accepting that her husband has his career while she has given up hers. There is a male quilter who has taken up the craft after the death of his wife.

Male quilter

“He quilted in the evenings in front of the television, as Elaine used to. Something about the repetitive motions of quilting allowed his mind to disconnect from himself, to float on a stratum out of reach of his anger and the slow, steady ache of loneliness. In those moments he could remember Elaine without pain”.

This man started to quilt initially in order to finish her quilts, and then began to design and quilt for his own satisfaction and for the comfort that quilting brings. It is very often during times of grief that people begin to quilt and find it becomes a life-long passion.

We also meet a woman who works in a geriatric centre and discovers a quilt at a garage sale - a quilt made of many small blocks - all different. She researches the history of the quilt and the woman who made it, leading her into a career as a quilter and an author.

Another woman is training as a chef but considers that quilting may enable her to save money to purchase a restaurant of her own, with surprising consequences.

The outcome is somewhat predictable but that does not reduce the enjoyment of a day spent with this book, or any other in the series - especially if you are a woman and a quilter.

I always feel somewhat reluctant to review this sort of novel - and to admit to reading them - but it is simply the book form of television for me. A relaxing read , some truths about life as a woman, and great quilting history and lore. Almost as much pleasure as quilting!

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