The Elm Creek Quilters have begun a Round Robin quilt, created by sewing concentric patchwork borders to a central block, as a gift for their beloved fellow quilter Sylvia Compson. But even as the quilt is passed from friend to friend, its eloquent beauty increasing with every stitch, the threads of their happiness begin to unravel. As each woman confronts a personal crisis, a painful truth, or a life-changing choice, the quilt serves as a symbol of the complex and enduring bonds between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends.
The Elm Street quilters return in this sequel to the popular The Quilter's Apprentice, and again a round-robin quilt is made collaboratively by a group of friends, each contributing a border of patchwork around a central block. The apt metaphor is used once more to share the individual stories and bonds of friendship of the club members. Sarah McClure helps her aging friend Sylvia Compson run a quilting school from Sylvia's large manor house in the small town of Waterford, Pa. The quilters decide to surprise Sylvia with a round robin, and in passing the work-in-progress to one another, their stories unfold. Sarah struggles with her cold and critical mother and with her husband's identity crisis, while overachiever Gwen must accept that her daughter wants to work at the quilt store rather than attend graduate school. Supermom Diane copes with her teenage son, a friendless delinquent whose troubles disappear as soon as the family puts a skateboard ramp in their backyard. Bonnie discovers that her husband is conducting a romance over the Internet. In the most complicated and most strained vignette, Judy, a Vietnamese-American professor of computer science, receives a letter from an American half-sister she never knew of, reporting that their biological father, who abandoned Judy and her mother in Vietnam, is dying. Rounding out the ensemble is Sylvia, whose health is deteriorating but who gleans new hope when an old flame visits. By the end of this sugary story, not only have the Elm Street ladies stitched a beautiful quilt, but they've also learned to rely on and help each other. The tale is neatly concluded on a tender if sentimental note: "true friends are the most precious gift." Agent, Maria Massie. 3-city author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Heartwarming.... As women face tragedy, they often lean on friends. And as Round Robin reminds us, they also find great strength within themselves." -- The Dallas Morning News
In this sequel to The Quilter's Apprentice, Chiaverini, a quilter herself, has pieced together an even more beautiful story. A tale of love, courage, friendship, hope, and determination, it concerns the Elm Creek Quilters some time after this group has become professionally viable. Still focusing on Sylvia Compson and Sarah McClure, the action includes others in the group who share friendship while dealing with individual problems involving their children and spouses. Sarah still faces her difficult relationship with her mother, while Sylvia must resolve issues of loneliness and illness before she can love again. The Round Robin quilt of the title serves to bind together the women of Elm Creek Manor, who finally learn that the fabric of life consists of many tiny stitches, sometimes poorly connected. Women readers in particular will be touched and charmed. Highly recommended.--Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.