Book Review

THE CHRISTMAS QUILT
by Jennifer Chiaverini

Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction

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Chiaverini continues her appealing Elm Creek Quilts Series with remembrances, regrets and joy. Sylvia Compson is an elderly woman living at her childhood home of Elm Creek Manor in rural Pennsylvania. Along with newlyweds Sarah and Matt, Sylvia has created the Elm Creek Quilt Camp, a summer quilting retreat.

When the camp closes for the winter, Sarah, who is estranged from her family, and Matt decide to spend Christmas with Sylvia. The older and wiser woman reminiscences about her decades-long rift with her sister, which lasted until she passed away and Sylvia inherited Elm Creek.

Chiaverini's details paint the picture of the loving Bergstrom family seeking to stay together despite tragedy and financial loss. At the center of the family is tradition, especially the making of a Christmas quilt. When Sarah discovers this beautiful quilt, left untouched in an attic trunk for years, she realizes the importance of family and searches for a way to open her heart to the joy of the holiday season.

Chiaverini's touching writing transports the reader back in time to a simpler world, where family bonds were a vital part of life. Old traditions and new awakenings combine to reveal a holiday full of hope and promise. (Oct., 206 pp., $18.95)

Reviewed By: Sheri Melnick

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Published: October 2005

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