Sonoma Rose (Elm Creek Quilts Series #19)

Sonoma Rose (Elm Creek Quilts Series #19)

3.8 27
by Jennifer Chiaverini
     
 

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From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a powerful and dramatic Prohibition-era story that follows the fortunes of Rosa Diaz Barclay, a woman who plunges into the unknown for the safety of her children and the love of a good but flawed man.

As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a

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Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a powerful and dramatic Prohibition-era story that follows the fortunes of Rosa Diaz Barclay, a woman who plunges into the unknown for the safety of her children and the love of a good but flawed man.

As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview.

Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa's resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.

As a flash flood traps them in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave-or foolhardy-enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa's first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to Berkeley, where a leading specialist offers their only hope of saving Ana and Miguel. Here in northern California, they create new identities to protect themselves from Rosa's vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents-officers representing a department often as corrupt as the Mob itself. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa's daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma Valley vineyard-despite the recent hardships of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in California during Prohibition, Chiaverini's newest Elm Creek Quilts novel (after The Union Quilters) follows Rosa Diaz Barclay as she flees her abusive, bootlegger husband, John, in search of a better life with her true love, Lars Jorgensen, and a cure for the mysterious disease that's already claimed four of her children, and threatens to kill the others-two of which were fathered by the troubled Lars. Finding work at a now-illegal vineyard in Sonoma Valley, the couple get caught in a web of cops, mobsters, and farmers trying to survive, all the while struggling to care for their kids, iron out their own relationship, and enjoy the region they've come to love. Chiaverini does an excellent job of describing the lush landscapes of California wine country, while simultaneously painting a touching portrait of the difficulties faced by farming families who must tend to one another, as well as the earth. Agent: Maria Massie, Massie Lippincott McQuilkin.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Chiaverini's latest Elm Creek Quilts novel revisits Prohibition-era California. For Rosa Barclay, marriage to taciturn and occasionally violent postmaster John is hellish, despite the verdant Southern California valley where they live and farm. For reasons that are exhaustively (and needlessly for readers of a prequel, Quilter's Homecoming) detailed in flashbacks, Rosa chose John over her true love, unreliable drunkard Lars, whose family owns the apricot orchards her own ancestors lost decades before. When her parents learn that Rosa's first child, Marta, was actually Lars', they disown her (although her mother visits secretly). Lars leaves town after a last tryst with Rosa. When she discovers valises crammed with cash in the barn, she wonders why John refuses to seek better medical treatment for a hereditary wasting disease (from John's side of the family) afflicting their children Ana and Miguel. (Four other children died of the disease.) In fact, only Marta and 5-year-old Lupita are healthy, inflaming John's suspicions about their paternity. His abuse of Rosa increases until a particularly savage beating forces Rosa and the children to flee. Equipped with some of John's cash (proceeds of bootlegging, which leads to his arrest and imprisonment), Rosa rejoins a sober and penitent Lars. They consult a San Francisco specialist who correctly diagnoses the children's condition. Under assumed names the fugitive family sets up housekeeping as hired hands at a Sonoma winery owned by the Cacchione clan. Like many vintners, the Cacchiones can't wait out Prohibition without going bankrupt, unless they bootleg their wine. After a raid led by evil federal agent Crowell, and threatening letters sent by John from prison, Lars and Rosa "launder" John's remaining cash by purchasing their own vineyard in Glen Ellen. How long before John, Crowell and the gangsters operating in Rosa's own backyard close in? Choked by repetitive exposition, the novel wheezes to life in the last 75 pages, only to end too abruptly.

Like an overgrown vine, this book could have benefited from extreme pruning.

Chicago Tribune
"[An] emotionally compelling tale."
Romantic Times
"Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive, showcasing the effects of Prohibition on farmers in Sonoma Valley."
From the Publisher
"Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive, showcasing the effects of Prohibition on farmers in Sonoma Valley."  — Romantic Times

"[An] emotionally compelling tale."
Chicago Tribune

"Chiaverini does an excellent job of describing the lush landscapes of California wine country, while simultaneously painting a touching portrait of the difficulties faced by farming families who must tend to one another, as well as the earth."
— Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Elm Creek Quilt Series:

"Imparts a healthy dollop of history in a folksy style, while raising moral questions in a suspenseful narrative." —Publishers Weekly

"Warm and wise, full of quilting lore...One of the beauties of this series is that readers can start at the beginning or jump to the end. Each novel stands alone, while for devoted followers, each new volume is like a visit with old friends." —The South Cheatham Advocate (Kingston Springs, TN)

"Come os the most compelling characters you'll ever want to meet." —Green Bay Press Gazette

"A new generation of quilters embraces the craft with gusto...following the lead of author Jennifer Chiaverini." —Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts books...have become classics of their kind." —The Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525952640
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Series:
Elm Creek Quilts Series, #19
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for the Elm Creek Quilt Series:

"Imparts a healthy dollop of history in a folksy style, while raising moral questions in a suspenseful narrative." —Publishers Weekly

"Warm and wise, full of quilting lore...One of the beauties of this series is that readers can start at the beginning or jump to the end. Each novel stands alone, while for devoted followers, each new volume is like a visit with old friends." —The South Cheatham Advocate (Kingston Springs, TN)

"Come os the most compelling characters you'll ever want to meet." —Green Bay Press Gazette

"A new generation of quilters embraces the craft with gusto...following the lead of author Jennifer Chiaverini." —Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts books...have become classics of their kind." —The Dallas Morning News

Meet the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as five collections of quilt projects inspired by the novels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Sonoma Rose 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of Jennifer's best books. Really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how the author weaves history into her books. She does a great job with this novel.
AVIDREADERDA More than 1 year ago
WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF MS. CHIAVERINI'S BEST IN HER ELM CREEK SERIES. I KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE READ THEM ALL. I LITERALLY DID NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN UNTIL I HAD FINISHED READING IT - GRIPPING STORY WITH PIECES OF HISTORY THROUGHOUT - DEPRESSION/PROHIBITION AND MORE. MS. CHIAVERINI'S CHARACTERS LITERALLY LEAP OFF THE PAGES AND SURROUND YOU WITH THE TALE - YOU ARE RIGHT THERE SEEING AND FEELING IT ALL UNFOLD. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. WOULD GIVE IT 10 STARS IF I COULD.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sharper7653 More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy this series, you will like this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Angie2536 More than 1 year ago
Remember Cousin Elizabeth who married and went to California? This is her story, and tells about what happened to her when they arrived at Triumph Ranch.
morigane More than 1 year ago
Another great read in the Elm Creek series. If you love this series don't miss this one!
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Rosa Diaz Barclay is riddled with grief and fear, grief for the children she has lost from a mysterious disease and fear for the violent husband who beats her at the slightest whim. But her troubles are about to become worse, far worse, before they get better. A woman neighbor, Elizabeth, brings her two quilts and says she found them in a cabin. One is the quilt that was made by her mother, the mother she had to reject on orders from her husband. She knows the origin of the other quilt but must remain silent because of the secret it holds that could wind up in her final beating. All of her fears are for nothing as her husband arrives home while Elizabeth is still there, and he reacts violently again. This time she is severely hurt and must seek help, not only for herself but for two of her other children who also seem to have this mysterious illness. Before she leaves, she makes an earth-shaking discovery of what her husband has been storing and quickly realizes its source. The danger is huge for her as well! Lars, an old romantic flame, appears at this hour of need and helps her. Rosa’s husband, John, has gone too far and been arrested for violence and criminal activity. Lars, Rosa and her children flee and wind up living with and working for a couple who are winemakers, a crime in Prohibition time America. Federal agents however quickly figure out her connection and also realize she is living there under a false name. As they continue to investigate and her husband finds out where she is, Lars and Rosa leave again, this time to Sonoma County in California. Others believe Lars is her husband but no one suspects the real truth about Lars, not even the reader. Rosa’s story is gradually revealed as her circumstances drive her away from her hometown and its past relationships. The novel continues with Rosa’s discovery that she is capable of learning about viticulture and buying a vineyard of her own. The challenges in this business are huge and constant, but Rosa proves to be more than a survivor and creates her own story of success which will blossom only with the end of Prohibition. This is quite a different turn for Jennifer Chiaverini. While “quilts” play a small part in the story, they are the motif of creating a new life that surrounds this moving story of turbulence and deep love of many kinds. A remarkable historical novel!
quiltlor More than 1 year ago
I could not put this life story down once started. Truly amazing facts regarding the struggles caused by our Congressmen through the seemingly just cause of trying to stop all use of liquor. This indeed caused personal loss with the wine growers of California. Through Sonoma Rose's life story we are made aware of the depravity of the governments Prohibition division which developed into corruptive, questionable activities. Chiaverini captured the frustrations, negativity and despair of these formerly successful farmers through this life story. Absolutely a "must read" for all history buffs. Well written, and thoroughly illuminating, revealing mistakes made through governmental control.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Chiaverini never ceases to excite me with her well researched novels. I am a quilter and I love history. She manages to combine both with extremely memorable characters. All of her novels are fabulous! I can't wait for more!
moonshell127 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Elm Creek series books but was disappointed in this latest novel. While I appreciated knowing a bit of Rose Barclay's life and the issue of domestic abuse, there was no real connectedness to the world of quilting! I certainly hope Ms. Chiaverini's next book focuses more on quilting...
Grams1DM More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Ms. Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt series novels. I have enjoyed them all. I get involved with all the characters in the books and feel like I already know them myself. This particular novel deals with Rosa Diaz Barclay and Lars Jorgensen. Rosa has been married to John Barclay, who regularly abuses her. She has born 8 children, 4 of whom had succumbed to a mysterious illness. Rosa always is determined to find out what can be done to help the 2 children she has now that are afflicted in the same way. John forbids Rosa to leave the farm and find a doctor who can help. This novel, as you will find out, has a lot of history attached to it as well: the depression, prohibition, life in wine country. Rosa has left John and taken her children with her with the help of Lars. They head to San Francisco and find a doctor for the children and he knows what will help them. They are put on a special diet and things seem to progress well for them. Lars and Rosa go to work on a wine farm and are learning a new craft. But they also become involved in knowing about bootleggers, prohibition agents, and trying to stay one step ahead of John so they will not be found. Not much is said in the book about quilting much, but Rosa does have 2 quilts her mother had made, and she does make quilts for her children. But, not much is said about what type of quilts and if she teaches her daughters the craft or others she befriends. I truly enjoyed this novel as I did all the others. It is a worthwhile read. Enjoy!
OhioUser More than 1 year ago
Once again, Ms. Chiaverini has come up with a compelling interesting story in an historical setting that was new to me. As usual, her characters have depth and consistency along with some intrigue. She also pushes her readers into new areas for reflection. I continue to appreciate the author's skill in using the time factor for story-telling and other techniques so well. Each book has some new creativeness that keeps me interested and eager to read more. She has tackled some sensitive topic (abuse, alcoholism, death) in an historical family setting. When I finish her books, I know I have learned something and come to a deeper understanding of the human condition. Note that the word "quilt" is not in the title of this work, and indeed there is not much quilting included.... but still it is an outstanding piece of contemporary literature worth reading! Loved it! I am eager to discuss this with others who have finished it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Jennifer Chiaverini and I totally loved the Elm Quilt series.Even the one that was almost a cookbook had a quilting story woven into the plot. I was very disappointed with this book. These novels are presented as quilting novels and, while this author has mentioned making quilts, no quilting actually takes place. With each novel Ms. Chiaverini moves farther away from the beloved quilters at Elm Creek. Unfortunately her characters become less "real" and the storylines get weaker. I have cotinued to buy and read these books in the hope that the endearing characters and meaningful plots will creep back into pages. After this huge disappointment I'm not sure if I'll buy another. She could at least a story killing ohff the Elm Creek bunch so we can stop wondering if they are coming back. If you are looking for a good quiltng novel, don't waste your money on this one. It is neither good nor a quilt novel.
BookReflections More than 1 year ago
Rosa Barclay has faced heartache after heartache. She loses her childhood love because a family feud that she wants no part of and is forced into a loveless marriage. The marriage soon falls apart when her husband results to violence and later discovers her betrayal. Rosa is forced to flee the only home she knows to save herself and her four remaining children. Not only does she continue to look over her shoulder for the abusive husband who is sure to come after here, but she must hurry to find a cure for the disease that has taken the life of four of her children and left two children very ill. She eventually ends up in wine valley where winemakers are struggling to hold on to their livelihood and land during the Prohibition era. Here she hopes to make a home in peace. I enjoyed reading about the prohibition era, a topic I've read little about. I had previously given little thought to the difficulties for wine makers during this period and it was quite interesting. Unfortunately, this book was just meh for me because I didn't connect with any of the characters especially Rosa. I felt she never took responsibility for her decisions and I felt I was reading about a character who rationalized her actions instead of taking control of her life. I felt it was silly for her to keep her love from her family for so long instead of making a decision and dealing with the consequences. I also thought it seemed imprudent to blame her teenage love, Lars, for end of their relationship. I found her actions contributed just as much as his. While she always stood up to him, she never found the gumption to stand up to her family or her husband. My heart went out to her because of the domestic violence that she had to endure, but it wasn't enough to garner enough empathy for me. I'm not quite sure where the Elm Creek Quilts part came in. This might be the background for another novel or something like that. Overall, it wasn't for me, but I think many other readers had better experiences with this read. I'd recommend checking out a few other reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all the Elm Creek quilt novels, both the contemporary ones and the historic ones, and I found this one unreadable. It's highly unusual for me to drop a book without finishing, but after investing time to read through the first half, I decided that was enough. There's not a sympathetic character in the whole bunch, except the eldest daughter, who is hardly a primary actor in the drama. The story time-shifts awkwardly, so it's often confusing. I've really enjoyed all the previous books; this one doesn't live up to Ms. Chiaverini's usual standards. I'm quite disappointed.
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Mirella More than 1 year ago
Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini is fascinating novel set during Prohibition in the southern United States. I loved the retro cover. It reminded me of many classic novels that I enjoyed so many years ago, or finding an old dusty classic hidden at the back of a library's bookshelf. This novel weaves through time as it follows the trials Rosa and Lars face as they attempt to escape their past and avoid treachery in their new life. One immediately feels sympathy for poor Rose who is trapped in a loveless marriage with an embittered man who refuses to provide the necessary care for her ill children and regularly abuses her. This is an epic story that weaves itself over several years and takes the reader into the heart of wine country during the era of Prohibition. The author gave us an in-depth look at the struggle of vineyard owners at a time when wine-making was severely and how they struggled to survive. Insight was also given as to how celiac disease was first diagnosed and treated. The novel was easy to read. Its characters, both protagonist and antagonist, were well written and realistic. It is nice to learn about lesser known eras in unusual settings, and this novel certainly made that mark. Beautiful prose, rich descriptions, and an endearing story of courage and hope make this an awesome read.
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