The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
(Elm Creek Quilts Series #8)

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When Christmas Eve comes to Elm Creek Manor, the tenor of the holiday is far from certain. Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, the Master Quilter, has her own reasons for preferring a quiet, even subdued, Christmas. Her young friend Sarah McClure, however, takes the opposite view and decides to deck the halls brightly. As she explores the trunks packed with Bergstrom family decorations that haven't been touched in more than fifty years, Sarah discovers a curious Christmas quilt. Begun in seasonal fabrics and patterns, the quilt remains unfinished.

Sylvia reveals that the handiwork spans several generations and a quartet of Bergstrom quilters -- her great aunt, her mother, her sister, and herself. As she examines the array of quilt blocks each family member contributed but never completed, memories of Christmases past emerge.

At Elm Creek Manor, Christmas began as a celebration of simple virtues -- joy and hope buoyed by the spirit of giving. As each successive generation of Bergstroms lived through its unique trials -- the antebellum era, the Great Depression, World War II -- tradition offered sustenance even during the most difficult times. For Sylvia, who is coping with the modern problem of family dispersed, estranged, or even forgotten, reconciliation with her personal history may prove as elusive as piecing the Christmas Quilt.

Elm Creek Manor is full of secrets, from a Christmas tree with unusual properties to the sublime Bergstrom strudel recipe. Sylvia's tales at first seem to inform her family legacy but ultimately illuminate far more, from the importance of women's art to its place in commemorating our shared experience, at Christmastime and in every season.

About Jennifer Chiaverini

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Jennifer Chiaverini lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the six volumes in the Elm Creek Quilts series and two books of quilt patterns inspired by the novels, she designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics.
Published November 1, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 244 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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She learns from her dying mother how to make the famous Bergstrom apple strudel, discovers what true charity is during the Great Depression, competes fiercely with older sister Claudia, pieces together the Christmas quilt, chops down a Christmas tree with new husband James and waits for James and...

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Publishers Weekly

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Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts novels, delivers a rich holiday tale that predates last year's Master Quilter , also set during the Christmas season.

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Book Reporter

Her mother's delicate stitches, Claudia's uneven stitches --- in fact, all the intricate patterns and stitches by the quilt's creators so very long ago --- speak volumes to Sylvia and strengthens her resolve: Sarah simply must reunite with her mother.

Dec 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Christmas Quilt (Elm Cree...

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