The Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini

I didn’t like this book as much as I have the rest of the series. That’s not to say it isn’t any good; it just isn’t up to the standard I’ve come to expect from Chiaverini. It can be read as a standalone or as a part of the series; and for that fact I’m not going to recap the other 5 books as they are varied and irrelevant to this novel.

This book starts out with the Elm Creek Quilter’s deciding to make a surprise wedding quilt for Sylvia, who wed her sweetheart Andrew on Christmas Eve. They send out a bunch of letters to all her friends and past students at the Elm Creek Quilter’s retreat to ask for quilt blocks that makes the creators think of Sylvia.

While this is going on, each of the quilter’s has some big person issues going on as well. Bonnie has to deal with her failing business and good for nothing husband, as well as consider a divorce. Summer has moved in with her boyfriend but is afraid to tell everyone and debates whether she has made the right decision. Diane thinks that her boys are up to no good and getting in trouble again. She also feuds with her neighbor who is the president of a rival quilting guild. (Geez does that make these ladies sound vicious, really, they’re not.) Judy must decide whether to accept a job in a far away city and leave her fellow quilters. Agnes and Summer just find themselves helping their friends the best that they can. With everything going on, plus a robbery, it’s a struggle to see if they can finish Sylvia’s quilt in time.

The characters in this as always are wonderful and I like hearing more about them, but I noticed in this book Chiaverini separates them as good or evil, with no shades of grey. In particular, Bonnie’s husband and Diane’s neighbor are just despicable horrible people. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever and just serve as evil villains in this book. There doesn’t seem to be any real motive to their horribleness.

The writing is easy to understand. She doesn’t seem to be as descriptive in this book as normal except when it comes to block patterns. The rest of the book just has a minimal amount of detail. The writing is unoffensive though and an easy read. Chiaverini also chose to write this book in a different style than the others. Basically she recaps the events of a couple months through six different people’s eyes. While this can be a neat way to write, I just got tired of hearing essentially the same thing over and over again.

I might just be a bit biased because I’ve come to expect a heartwarming story from Chiaverini. This book just makes me angry at some parts and didn’t relax me like I was hoping. I’ll still continue to read the series, but I hope they go back to being like her other books instead of this one.

The Master Quilter
Copyright 2004
327 pages