The Winding Ways Quilt
By Jennifer Chiaverini
Simon & Schuster 2008
The Winding Ways Quilt
This is the 14th books in the series. I have read about half of this series, and enjoyed them all. And I enjoyed this on as well. In fact I stayed up to 1 am to finish it.
Quilters have flocked to Elm Creek Manor to learn from Master Quilter Sylvia Compson and her expert colleagues. There's Sarah, Sylvia's onetime apprentice who's paired her quilting accomplishments with a mind for running the business of Elm Creek Quilts; Agnes, who has a gift for appliqué; Gwen, who stitches innovative art quilts; Diane, a whiz at the technicalities of quick-piecing; and Bonnie, with her encyclopedic knowledge of folk art patterns. And lastly there are Judy and Summer.
One of the reason I enjoyed this book, because a lot of back stories are told.
Agnes is Sylvia's sister in law. Agnes and Sylvia were married to the Bergstrom brothers. Both of their husbands died as young men in World War 1.
Summer is Gwen's daughter born during the Vietnam war era. She and her boyfriend Jeremy are having to decide if they want to attend university together or apart.
Diane had been battling with Mary Anne, her next door neighbour, who was the president of the Waterford Quilting Club. The Guild and the Elm Creek Quilters were at war with each other because Mary Ann wanted to be better than the old ladies. But when her son destroyed Bonnie's quilting shop, the boy was sentenced to paying off by working at Elm Creek manor all during the summer. Mary Anne was humiliated.
Sylvia and her husband Matthew, were trying to start a family and finally Sarah becomes pregnant. The unexpected news is exciting for all the Elm Creek Quilters.
Judy is a Vietnamese Quilter. She and her mother were refugees from Vietnam. Her mother later married a wonderful man who adopted Judy as his own. But when Judy was first taken to her new grandparents home for Xmas, Judy discovered the joys of quilting, but was also told that she would never inherit one of grandma's quilts because she is "not a real grandchild".
Bonnie had run a Quilting shop in Waterford for many years. At the time of the earlier books (the ones I read last year) Bonnie's marriage was breaking down, and she discovered that her husband had an online affair with another woman. This efectively ended the marriage. Shortly after this, three teenage boys broke into and destroyed Bonnie's shop. One of the boys accused was Dianw's son Michael. But it turned out that he was framed because he lived next door to Maryann whose son was the real culprit. Bonnie went to pieces. In this book, Bonnie is slowly recovering and searching for a new direction in her life.
It is NOT a depressing book by any means. In fact, I had tears in my eyes right at the end when all good things came to an end. Two of the Elm Creek quilters left the Manor and moved on with their lives. Mary Ann also came to an understanding of how her own attitudes had been the cause of her sons's criminal actions, and she finally made apologised to Diane. The books ended with healing for everyone concerned.