Monday, March 12, 2012

272 (2012 #17). The Wedding Quilt

by Jennifer Chiaverini,
read by Christina Moore

This book, the 18th in the Elm Creek Quilts series, feels like the last.  Technically, it's not, because #19 just came out, but that one is historical fiction.  This one does appear to be the last of the stories of the contemporary "Elm Creek Quilters."

The book is set in the future, 2028 to be exact.  Matt and Sarah McClure's twins, yet to be born in one of the last books I read in this series (The Aloha Quilt), are now 25, and the daughter, Caroline, is getting married.  Almost all of the Elm Creek Quilters (that are still alive) come back for the wedding, so it's the perfect opportunity to reminisce.

Previous books are recalled in the form of memories and flashbacks, and their storylines brought up-to-date.  Not surprisingly, some of the older members of the group have passed on, and children of other members have taken their places in the quilt camp staff and faculty.  Tying it all together are the typical wedding preparations in the week before a wedding, although in this case, with Elm Creek Manor also serving as a hotel of sorts for most of the wedding guests, preparations can involve a lot more characters.

Because much of this covered material I've already read in other books in the series, the storyline that was of most interest to me was the one about the saving of Union Hall (the building of which was described in The Union Quiliters).  I haven't read all of the books in the series, though, so perhaps that story was covered in a book I hadn't read.

Many reviewers are very upset that the contemporary stories in the series appear to have come to an end with this book.  I personally prefer the historical fiction books in the series anyway, so I'm not particularly upset.  Chiaverini certainly could go back and write a story that didn't get summarized in The Wedding Quilt using the contemporary characters.

Indeed, on her website, Chiaverini says, "Sonoma Rose [#19] is the last book of my current contract, but I have a verbal agreement with [publisher] Dutton for a new three-book deal. At the present time, it looks like a contemporary Elm Creek Quilts novel titled The Giving Quilt will be published in October 2012 as the first book of that contract."

Christina Moore once again does a fine job narrating the audiobook, with variations in voice for the different Elm Creek Quilters and other characters (although the men all mostly sound alike).  The photo at the top of this post is from the audiobook library edition, while that at the bottom is from the hardbound edition.

© Amanda Pape - 2012

[The audiobook and a hardbound copy for reference were borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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