Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Giving Quilt

Title: The Giving Quilt

Author: Jennifer Chiaverini

Publisher: Dutton

Series: Elm Creek Quilts, Bk 20

ISBN: 9780525953609

Length: 357 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

This is the book my grandma's book club was/is doing.  Despite the fact that it's the 20th book in a series I haven't read, and it isn't my usual sort of book, it is fiction.  And I didn't read the last pick, so I needed to read this one.


Set during the week after Thanksgiving, this is a timely novel.  It is one I was reluctant to try, though.  I worried it would be boring.  It isn't a mystery, or fantasy, or romance.  It isn't historical.  It isn't non-fiction.  So what was the point?  But I started it anyway, and found myself pleasantly surprised.

The characters and their individual stories are interesting.  In general they are characters I believe aren't in the bulk of the series, so jumping in wasn't such a big deal.  And it really felt like a series of short stories, patched together by a common thread (pun semi-intended).  Each character has her own story, and you get the resolution to each character's personal story - at least partially influenced by the relationships made and lessons learned during Quiltsgiving - in the last chapter.  I do love a nice neat ending. 

We'll skip Sylvia as she's part of the overall Elm Creek series, and her section is more of an overview than her story anyway.  So the characters in the spotlight are:
  • Pauline, a 911 operator, wife, mother, and former (due to much conflict and infighting) treasurer of another very prestigious quilters' guild; 
  • Linnea, a librarian, wife, and sister, whose life and family has been hit hard by economic trials (her husband lost his job, her sister's job is in a shaky place, and her library is at risk of closing); 
  • Michaela, a college student and cheerleader, with aspirations of coaching, but roadblocks that have cropped up along the way;
  • Jocelyn, teacher, widow, mother - she's been learning to keep living without her husband, but the unfairness of the world around her isn't helping any;
  • Karen, wife and mother - she works in a quilt shop, but only after she was rejected as a teacher for the very same Elm Creek Quilters that are hosting Quiltsgiving - And the quilt shop is in jeopardy.  
My grandmother insisted I at least read Linnea's part of the story, but I actually found it the least moving.  Perhaps because I couldn't stop comparing her library with the one I work at and her job - especially in regards to her creativeness, inspiration, and resourcefulness - with my own.

Anyway, maybe I should read more of the series.  Or even more of the Women's Fiction genre as a whole.  After all, I'm always saying how the characters are the most important part, and this was all about the characters.


  1. Jo, this is now on my library wish list. Thanks!

    1. Always glad to help other readers' wish lists grow. ;p Hope you enjoy it.


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