The Union Quilters, An Elm Creek Quilts Novel   -     By: Jennifer Chiaverini
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The Union Quilters, An Elm Creek Quilts Novel

Penguin Putnam Inc. / 2011 / Hardcover

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Product Description

In 1862 Water's Ford, Pennsylvania, abolitionism is prevalent, even passionate, so the local men rally to answer Mr. Lincoln's call to arms. Thus the women of Elm Creek Valley's quilting bee are propelled into the unknown. Constance Wright, married to Abel, a skilled sharpshooter courageous enough to have ventured south to buy his wife's freedom from a Virginia plantation, knows well her husband's certainty that all people, enslaved and free, North and South, need colored men like him to fight for a greater purpose. Sisters-in-law Dorothea Nelson and Charlotte Granger wish safe passage for their learned husbands. Schoolmaster turned farmer Thomas carries Dorothea's Dove in the Window quilt with him. Charlotte's husband, Dr. Jonathan Granger, takes more than a doctor's bag to his post at a field hospital. Alongside the devotion of his wife, pregnant with their second child, Jonathan brings the promise he made to his unrequited love, Gerda Bergstrom: "My first letter will be to you."

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0525952039
ISBN-13: 9780525952039
Availability: In Stock
Series: Elm Creek Quilts

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Publisher's Description

The New York Times bestselling author of the Elm Creek Quilts series joins the Dutton list with a Civil War-era tale of love and sacrifice behind Union lines.

With The Union Quilters, Chiaverini delivers a powerful story of a remarkable group of women coping with changing roles and the extraordinary experiences of the Civil War.

In 1862 Water's Ford, Pennsylvania, abolitionism is prevalent, even passionate, so the local men rally to answer Mr. Lincoln's call to arms. Thus the women of Elm Creek Valley's quilting bee are propelled into the unknown. Constance Wright, married to Abel, a skilled sharpshooter courageous enough to have ventured south to buy his wife's freedom from a Virginia plantation, knows well her husband's certainty that all people, enslaved and free, North and South, need colored men like him to fight for a greater purpose. Sisters-in-law Dorothea Nelson and Charlotte Granger wish safe passage for their learned husbands. Schoolmaster turned farmer Thomas carries Dorothea's Dove in the Window quilt with him. Charlotte's husband, Dr. Jonathan Granger, takes more than a doctor's bag to his post at a field hospital. Alongside the devotion of his wife, pregnant with their second child, Jonathan brings the promise he made to his unrequited love, Gerda Bergstrom: "My first letter will be to you."

Together with the other members of the circle, the women support one another through loneliness and fear, and devise an ingenious business plan to keep Water's Ford functioning. That plan may forever alter the patchwork of town life in ways that transcend even the ultimate sacrifices of war.

Author Bio

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.

Publisher's Weekly

In her true-to-form latest, Chiaverini (The Aloha Quilt; etc.) goes back to the Civil War era as the men go off to fight and the women of Elm Creek Valley support the Union troops. While the women struggle with their own problems, updates from the front amplify tensions as the war comes closer to home, leading some to tragedy and others to heartbreaking revelations. Among the many developments, Dorothea sends husband Thomas off to war with her favorite quilt; Constance's husband, Abel, seeks a way to serve a Union that won't enlist him because he's black; Gerda pines for Jonathan, who brings his medical skills to the front; and Gerda's brother, Hans, refuses to fight because he is a pacifist. Chiaverini does a good job balancing the experiences of the women at home and the men on the front, though, oddly, the quilting is all but absent. There's enough exposition to welcome new readers without bogging down the tale, resulting in a reliably heartwarming and accessible story. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"Jennifer Chiaverini's strength is not only writing strong female characters, but also placing them in interesting lives and times."
-New York Journal of Books

"Fascinating . . . We seldom think beyond the battles and the generals, but the story of the home [front] is a compelling one. Although we might know how the big picture turned out, the individual stories presented here are rivetingly new."
-Romantic Times

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  1. Aurora, CO
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Very in depth reading.
    October 14, 2011
    keywester
    Aurora, CO
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I enjoyed this book for the weaving of fact and fiction. The insight into the affect of the civil war at the level of all people in all walks of life was very interesting and gave me thoughts of a way of life I had not thought of.
  2. Midlothian, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Reunited... and it read so well...
    August 19, 2011
    Barbara Beers
    Midlothian, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the latest installment in the Elm Creek Quilt series. I was so happy to be reunited with some old friends, Gerda, Hans, Jonathan, Dorothea, and many others, as I jumped into the book. I have never been one who enjoys history but I must say that this novel kept me interested and I think it's all because we now live outside of Richmond, Virginia and many of the places mentioned in the book are places with which I am now familiar. The Union Quilters is a story of determination, perseverance, and love.

    If you haven't read all of the series yet, make sure you read "The Sugar Camp Quilt" before this one. I can't wait until November when "The Wedding Quilt" is released.
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