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The Cross-Country Quilters

An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
(Part of The Elm Creek Quilts)
By Jennifer Chiaverini

Reading Group Guide

    DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
    1. Why is the quilt called a challenge quilt? What is a challenge quilt? How are the five women’s lived affected by the quilt?


    1. Do the five friends accomplish the goals they set for themselves? How are their dissimilar lives eventually symbolized by the challenge quilt?


    1. Jennifer Chiaverini alternates points of view to convey her story, a technique she also used in her second novel, Round Robin. Do you think this was an effective storytelling technique? In what ways do you think it was or was not?


    1. How did you feel about the introduction of a brand new set of characters three books into the series? Were you able to connect with them? Did you find yourself drawn to any character in particular? Were you sympathetic to their problems?


    1. Why do you think Vinnie starts her mornings by talking with God? Do you think she is a religious or spiritual woman? She also values the time spent with her children and grandchildren, despite missing her Sam. Is family the driving force in Vinnie’s life? How do her actions reveal this? How do they affect the others?


    1. Are all the women in the novel equally courageous? Do you think Grace, with her strength and resolve to overcome her health issues, is the bravest?


    1. What unique obstacles do Julia, Donna, Grace, Megan, and Vinnie face at the beginning of the story? How does each woman tackle her problems? Discuss whether they have begun resolving their issues by the end of the book.


    1. The women’s friendship evolves throughout the book. In what ways is it tested? What happens to bring them closer together? What unites them in the end?


    1. What do these friends believe attending quilting camp at this point in their lives will accomplish? What are their sentiments regarding Sylvia? What are her feelings about them?

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