The ninth book in Jennifer Chiaverini's bestselling series—when two of Elm Creek Quilts’ founding members decide to leave the fold, who can possibly take their place in the circle of quilters?
When Elm Creek Quilts announces openings for two new teachers, quilters everywhere are vying to land the prestigious post. The impending departure of two founding members means untold changes for the Elm Creek Quilters. As they begin the interview process, a single question emerges: Who can possibly take the place of beloved colleagues and friends?
"We must evaluate all of the applicants' qualities," advises Master Quilter Sylvia Compson. "Our choice will say as much about us as it says about who we decide to hire." Who merits a place among the circle of quilters? Will it be Maggie, whose love of history shines through in all her projects; Anna, whose food-themed quilts are wonderfully innovative; Russ, the male quilter with a completely original style; Karen, a novice teacher whose gifts for language complement her deep understanding of the quilters' mission; or Gretchen, the soulful veteran whose craft is inspired by quilting tradition?
In a move that may frustrate fans, the eighth episode of Chiaverini's best-selling Elm Creek Quilts series (after The Sugar Camp Quilt) focuses on a roster of new quilting talent, as the rural Pennsylvania quilting retreat loses two of its charmed teachers. Each of the five candidates gets her or his own chapter; they begin variously-Maggie's first quilting find, a busy day for harried mom Karen, chef Anna's panic over a last-minute catering gig, Russ meeting his future wife, a morning argument between Gretchen and her husband-but they all end at Elm Creek Quilts, in an interview with the series's lead characters. Though the pleasures of the novel are many-well-drawn characters, cleverly intersecting plotlines, and Chiaverini's charming sense of humor among them-these may be cold comfort for those eager to find out the latest on Sarah McClure, Sylvia Compson and the rest of the gang, who take on greatly diminished roles. Also potentially maddening: the identity of the two quitting quilters isn't revealed until the end of the book. For new readers, a pedestrian pace and sentimental locale may prove off-putting, but for those with the taste for it, this is a great introduction to the Elm Creek world. It also sets up the coming volumes nicely, bringing fresh blood and new opportunities for drama to this sweet, escapist series.