A roaring twenties adventure unfolds in Jennifer Chiaverini’s latest Elm Creek Quilts novel, “A series that neatly stitches together social drama and the art of quilting” (Library Journal).
Newly wed in a festive yet poignant ceremony at Elm Creek Manor, bride Elizabeth Nelson takes leave of her ancestral Pennsylvania home. Setting off with her husband, Henry, on the adventure of a lifetime, the couple’s trunks are packed with more than the wedding quilts Elizabeth envisions them dreaming beneath every night of their married lives. They are landowners who hold the deed to Triumph Ranch, one hundred twenty acres of prime California soil located in the Arboles Valley north of Los Angeles.
“Triumph Ranch,” says Mae, a traveling companion whom Elizabeth has let in on the promise of the Nelsons’ bright future. “That sounds like a sure thing.” But in a cruel reversal of fortune, the Nelsons arrive to the news that they’ve been had, and left suddenly, irrevocably penniless.
Hiring on as hands at the farm they thought they owned, Henry struggles mightily with his pride. Yet clever, feisty Elizabeth—drawing on her share of the Bergstrom women’s inherent economy and resilience--vows to defy fate through sheer force of will. As her life intertwines with Rosa Diaz Barclay, native to the Arboles Valley and a fellow quilter, their blossoming friendship sheds light on many secrets that have kept these quilters and their families from their rightful homes.
When Elizabeth discovers in her cabin quilts belonging to Rosa’s mother, she sees in their exquisite patterns a misplaced legacy, of love, land, and family. But her newfound understanding of the burden of loss that Rosa shares with the mysterious Lars Jorgensen—and why they dare to shed it--places her in mortal danger. Only by stitching the rift between the past and the future can the inhabitants of Triumph Ranch hope to live in peace alongside history.
About the Author
Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of Elm Creek Quilts novels, as well as four collections of quilt projects inspired by the series, and is the designer of the Elm Creek Quilts fabric lines from Red Rooster Fabrics. She lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.
Chiaverini's latest Elm Creek Quilts installment suffers at the hands of its lackluster hero and heroine. Newlyweds Elizabeth and Henry leave Elizabeth's sprawling Pennsylvania family farm in 1925 to work a Southern California ranch Henry has bought sight unseen. As they ride the train out west, Chiaverini fills in the backstory of the Rodriguez family, the ranch's original owners, who lost the land in the 1880s. When the couple arrive in the picturesque valley, they discover they have been swindled into the poorhouse by an unscrupulous land broker who sold them a fake deed. Determined not to crawl back to their families, Henry works as a hired hand, while Elizabeth cooks for the Jorgenson family, the ranch's true owners. Dispirited and resentful, Henry rejects Elizabeth's encouragement and support, and Elizabeth must decide if the marriage is worth fighting for. On the page, the relationship between Henry and Elizabeth teeters between dull and nonexistent which hinders the story of a young couple striving to make their marriage work. (Apr.)
Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Fresh from The Christmas Quilt, newlyweds Elizabeth and Henry head west to claim land they have bought, only to discover that they have been duped. With a 13-city tour; reading group guide. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The latest Elm Creek Quilts novel (Circle of Quilters, 2006, etc.) moves west from the Pennsylvania manor to follow the adventures of Sylvia Bergstrom Compson's older cousin Elizabeth. In 1925 (when series grande dame Sylvia is just a child), Elizabeth Bergstrom marries Henry Nelson, who wants to give his young bride a home to match her beloved Elm Creek Manor. So Henry stakes everything he has to buy a cattle ranch in Southern California. The two pack up their wedding gifts, including a number of beautifully sewn Bergstrom quilts, and head off to what they expect will be a prosperous life. But when they arrive at the land office, poor Henry discovers he's been duped with an invalid deed, leaving the newlyweds destitute. Luckily, the Jorgensens, rightful owners of the ranch, hire Henry to work in the field and give the decidedly genteel Elizabeth a job as housemaid. Of course, the couple could wire home for return train fare, but Henry is too proud, stubborn and ashamed to go back to Pennsylvania, so it will be a long life of labor before the two can realize their dream of owning a ranch in the rapidly urbanizing California landscape. Woven throughout is the tale of the Rodriguez family, original owners of the ranch. Rodriguez descendant Rosa is trapped in an ugly marriage from which Elizabeth hopes to save her. Meanwhile, the love triangle of Rosa, her cuckolded husband and Lars Jorgensen provides a much-needed melodramatic counterpoint to the lackluster tale of Henry and Elizabeth's struggles. These strangely discordant plot lines merge in the guns-blazing finale that serves to rescue all involved. A bland and predictable addition to a series that has had both hits and misses.
Series: Elm Creek Quilts Ser.
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: January 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 13.8 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.299