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Bostwick makes a seamless transition from historical fiction to the contemporary scene in this buoyant novel about the value of friendship among women. When Evelyn Dixon's marriage ends, she leaves Texas and drives north until New Bern, Conn., captures her heart. There she pursues a dream of opening a quilt shop, and with little money and a lot of determination, she turns a derelict building into a haven for the crafty set. But three women who show up for quilting class end up learning about more than stitching and batting. Chilly, wealthy Abigail Burgess; her angry 19-year-old niece, Liza; and recently laid-off Margot Matthews all have different reasons for being there, but when Evelyn, having just learned she has breast cancer, breaks down, the trio unites to support her. Evelyn's illness and recovery are the catalysts that force the others to re-examine their own lives, while hints of a possible romance for Evelyn add a complementary thread to the friendship, community and illness story lines. Bostwick's polished style and command of plot make this story of bonding and sisterhood a tantalizing book club contender. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.