The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
(Elm Creek Quilts Series #4)

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Synopsis

The fourth book in the popular Elm Creek Quilts series explores a question that has long captured the imagination of quilters and historians alike: Did stationmasters of the Underground Railroad use quilts to signal to fugitive slaves?

In her first novel, The Quilter's Apprentice, Jennifer Chiaverini wove quilting lore with tales from the World War II home front. Now, following Round Robin and The Cross-Country Quilters, Chiaverini revisits the legends of Elm Creek Manor, as Sylvia Compson discovers evidence of her ancestors' courageous involvement in the Underground Railroad.

Alerted to the possibility that her family had ties to the slaveholding South, Sylvia scours her attic and finds three quilts and a memoir written by Gerda, the spinster sister of clan patriarch Hans Bergstrom. The memoir describes the founding of Elm Creek Manor and how, using quilts as markers, Hans, his wife, Anneke, and Gerda came to beckon fugitive slaves to safety within its walls. When a runaway named Joanna arrives from a South Carolina plantation pregnant with her master's child, the Bergstroms shelter her through a long, dangerous winter -- imagining neither the impact of her presence nor the betrayal that awaits them.

The memoir raises new questions for every one it answers, leading Sylvia ever deeper into the tangle of the Bergstrom legacy. Aided by the Elm Creek Quilters, as well as by descendants of others named in Gerda's tale, Sylvia dares to face the demons of her family's past and at the same time reaffirm her own moral center. A spellbinding fugue on the mysteries of heritage, The Runaway Quilt unfolds with all the drama and suspense of a classic in the making.
 

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 October 19, 2010 by Simon & Schuster. 352 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction

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Quilting, the Underground Railroad, and the struggles of immigrants in Pennsylvania all find a place in this passable fourth in the Elm Creek Quilts series (The Cross-Country Quilters, 2001, etc.).

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Publishers Weekly

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Chiaverini's fourth offering in her Elm Creek Quilts series weaves a modern-day family mystery around a pre–Civil War tale of bravery, deception and the Underground Railroad. Sylvia Berg

Feb 25 2002 | Read Full Review of The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek ...

Publishers Weekly

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Chiaverini's fourth offering in her Elm Creek Quilts series weaves a modern-day family mystery around a pre–Civil War tale of bravery, deception and the Underground Railroad. Sylvia Berg

Feb 25 2002 | Read Full Review of The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek ...

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