The Union Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts Series #17)

The Union Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts Series #17)

3.7 57
by Jennifer Chiaverini
     
 

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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.

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101475850
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/22/2011
Series:
Elm Creek Quilts Series , #17
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
84,597
File size:
508 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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.

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The Union Quilters: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 57 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1862 the men of Water's Ford, Pennsylvania join the Northern army leaving behind their loved ones. The women worry about the males but know the cause is just. They will do whatever they can to support the war and pray for the safe return of their beloved. The Elm Creek Valley quilting bee members rally around one another. Constance Wright knows her husband Abel a freeman of color wants to free other slaves like he did when he bought her freedom though this time he will use his rifle even if the Union refuses to accept a black. Dorothea Nelson and Charlotte Granger worry about their educated spouses. A former schoolmaster Thomas Nelson takes with him his beloved Dorothea's Dove in the Window quilt. His brother-in-law Dr. Jonathan Granger leaves behind his pregnant wife Charlotte and their child. Gerda Bergstrom misses Jonathan who seems to have moved on from his first love while her brother Hans refuses to fight claiming he is a pacifist. The latest Elm Creek drama (see The Aloha Quilt and A Quilter's Holiday) is a strong fresh entry that gives readers a profound look at mostly abolitionists either fighting as volunteer soldiers for the Union Army or at home in Pennsylvania seeking ways in addition to prayers to help their loved ones at war. Readers will appreciate this superb Civil War entry though ironically for an Elm Creek tale the stich count is at an all time low. Harriet Klausner
masterquilter18 More than 1 year ago
very boring and uninteresting. It was an effort to read
Quilting-Girl More than 1 year ago
Having enjoyed the characters in the previous books to try to read a book that is more about the Civil War than the quilters lives and relationships is very much a let down. Hopefully the author will go back to the beginning of the series and examine why her readers became such fans of her stories and maybe the next book will be more of her best work. This one is very disappointing.
tootsieroll More than 1 year ago
"The Union Quilters" is a nice break from the regular characters featured in most of her books, but since Chiaverini is one of my favorite authors, I will still look forward to the next book. If you love history and the role of women ( I certainly do), this book is a must read. Whether you are a quilter or not, the story is memorable and touching.
OhioUser More than 1 year ago
Another outstanding piece of writing by Ms. Chiaverini that takes the reader into new areas for historical reflection. Her treatment of the role women played in the Civil War gave me a new appreciation for our ancestors. While reading this book, I was compelled to read more about the Civil War on-line and then return to the book. Her facts are well researched. The story reveals deeper aspects of some familiar characters from the series. I thought this was one of her best pieces of writing. Her books are so enjoyable, the first, second, or third time through!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like reading about the roles women played in the Civil War, this book is a must.
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TJames More than 1 year ago
Well written on both a historical and a social level. I thought she wove the events of the war in well with the stories of the familiar characters of this series and also brought closure to some of the ongoing story lines. There is humor and tragedy in the story. Some of the racial tension of the era is depicted the struggles of black men who fervently wished to defend their country, and how long they were denied that honor. I did find myself skimming the highly detailed information regarding some of the battles, but overall, a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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NancySBrandt More than 1 year ago
This is the first of the Elm Creek books I've ever read, and I wonder if it's an appropriate sample. I listened to this on CD and while there were parts I got caught up in, most of the book is summary, as though someone was telling me a story about a group of people. Too much "he had said..." or "they did such and so." I would have liked to have seen more detail about one family or a few people instead of just summaries of things that happened. Also, the technique of reading letters and newspaper articles about the war sounded like a gimmick to tell us the author's research. I liked the idea of a story about a group of women, but too much time and too many stories in one book led to too much exposition instead of story. I may try another of these books just to see if they are all like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want history info dump read this story. It took about 1/3 to 1/2 of the book before I could relate to the characters. All of that was set-up and info dump. The writer focused on three men who went to war and because of that it was fractured going from chapter to chapter between the men's stories being told. I liked the author's first books but this was a disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Elm Creek Quilters go back in time to the Civil War where we learn more about Sylvia's family. As always, Jennifer Chiaverini continues to write of womens relationships with women, how they support, nurture, teach, counsel and listen to each other. Along with interesting tidbits relating to the war, quilters will note the complexities of different quilts and how they come into play during this 'I-can't-put-this-book-down' story! Another superb book my Ms. Chiaverini!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
djl100 More than 1 year ago
The Union Quilters, set in the Civil War era, follows the Waterford men as they go off to war and the women organize to support the war effort. It highlights the struggles with men of color being able to join the fighting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cjsew More than 1 year ago
For me, this was one of the authors best written in the series. I have them all. I truly felt the book. It was GOOD.
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