The Quilter’s Legacy
When precious heirloom quilts hand-stitched by her mother turn up missing from the attic of Elm Creek Manor, Sylvia Bergstrom Compson resolves to find them. Her quest leads her to unexpected places, where offers of assistance are not always what they seem.The Quilter’s Legacy Book Club Resources
Readers of Jennifer Chiaverini's popular and engaging Elm Creek Quilts series are treated in each successive volume to storytelling that expertly weaves the joys and intricacies of history, quilting, and family ties. In THE QUILTER'S LEGACY, a daughter's search for her mother's treasured heirlooms illuminates life in Manhattan and rural Pennsylvania at the turn of the last century.
When precious heirloom quilts hand-stitched by her mother turn up missing from the attic of Elm Creek Manor, Sylvia Bergstrom Compson resolves to find them. From scant resources -- journal entries, receipts, and her own fading memories -- she pieces together clues, then queries quilting friends from around the world. When dozens of leads arrive via the Internet, Sylvia and her fiancŽ, Andrew, embark on a nationwide investigation of antiques shops and quilt museums.
Sylvia's quest leads her to unexpected places, where offers of assistance are not always what they seem. As the search continues, revelations surface about her mother, Eleanor Lockwood, who died in 1930, when Sylvia was only a child. Burdened with poor health and distant parents, Eleanor Lockwood defied her family by marrying for love. Far from her Manhattan home, she embraced her new life among the Bergstroms -- but although warmth and affection surrounded Eleanor at last, the Bergstroms could not escape the tragedies of their times.
As Sylvia recovers some of the missing quilts and accepts others as lost forever, she reflects on the woman her mother was and mourns the woman she never knew. For every daughter who has yearned to know the untold story of her mother's life, and for every mother who has longed to be heard, THE QUILTER'S LEGACY will resonate with heartfelt honesty as it reveals what tenuous connections bind the generations and celebrates the love that sustains them.
BOOK CLUBS: Click here for reading guide and discussion questions.
[In] the fifth installment in Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts series, ... the author explores Sylvia's maternal heritage and the women's suffrage movement, alternating between the past and the present. Sylvia is busy planning her wedding to Andrew Cooper and attempting to overcome the resistance of his children, who fear that the seven-year age difference and Sylvia's stroke some years earlier will leave their father in a tenuous situation. What connects the past and the present is Sylvia's odyssey to find her mother's quilts, which had been sold during Sylvia's estrangement from her sister, Claudia. The journey to find the quilts, the detective work of tracking them down, and the family lore behind them illustrate how quilts develop a history beyond that of their maker. Series fans will enjoy this latest installment.
Chiaverini's fifth and best Elm Creek Quilts novel again stitches together a patchwork of American life... The novel's high point is the poignantly detailed description of the flu epidemic of 1918. Less historical but equally touching is Eleanor's aging mother's arrival at the horse farm. Chiaverini's...gift for visual imagery (Abigail going down with the Titanic; Eleanor's quilts recast as wearable art) and gentle humor (a museum exhibit's explanation of one quilt's origins) blend seamlessly into prose that, like the needlework she portrays, proves intricate, lovely, comforting and uniquely American.
— Publisher's Weekly