The Quilter's Legacy

An Elm Creek Quilts Novel

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When precious heirloom quilts hand-stitched by her mother turn up missing from the attic of Elm Creek Manor, Sylvia Bergstrom Compson resolves to find them. From scant resources-journal entries, receipts, and her own fading memories-she pieces together clues, then queries quilting friends from around the world. When dozens of leads arrive via the Internet, Sylvia and her fiance, Andrew, embark on a nationwide investigation of antique shops and quilt museums.

Sylvia's quest leads her to unexpected places, where offers of assistance are not always what they seem. As the search continues, revelations surface about her mother, who died when Sylvia was only a child. Burdened with poor health and distant parents, Eleanor Lockwood defies her family by marrying for love. Far from her Manhattan home, she embraces her new life among the Bergstroms-but although warmth and affection surround Eleanor at last, the Bergstroms cannot escape the tragedies of their times.

As Sylvia recovers some of the missing quilts and accepts others as lost forever, she reflects on the woman her mother was, and mourns the woman she never knew. For every woman who has yearned to know the untold story of her mother's life, and for every mother who has longed to be heard, THE QUILTER'S LEGACY will resonate with heartfelt honesty as it reveals what tenuous connections bind the generations, and celebrates the love that sustains them.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451606102 | 
  • April 2011
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Sylvia supposed all brides-to-be considered eloping at some point during the engagement, but she had never expected to feel that way herself, and certainly not a mere few weeks after agreeing to become Andrew's wife. She shook her head as she flipped through the magazines someone had left on the desk -- Bride's, American Bride, Country Bride -- and dumped the whole stack into the trash can. Unless they came out with an edition of Octogenarian Bride, she would leave the pleading overtures of the bridal industry to the younger girls. Surely she could fend for herself when all she and Andrew wanted was a small,... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Quilter's Legacy includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Jennifer Chiaverini. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

INTRODUCTION

Newly engaged Sylvia Bergstrom Compson has her hands full running Elm Creek Manor and preparing for the holidays. But a more urgent matter trumps everything when she discovers that several of her late mother’s beautiful handmade quilts have gone missing from the attic of Elm Creek Manor. Using journal entries, receipts, quilting websites, and other clues, Sylvia and her fiancé, Andrew, embark on a cross-country road trip to track down the precious heirlooms. During her journey Sylvia realizes how little she knows about her mother, who died when Sylvia was a young child. Through flashbacks and alternating narratives, readers learn more about Sylvia’s mother, Eleanor, and her fascinating life—her wealthy childhood in New York, the tragedies that tore her family apart, and her greatest loves. As Sylvia tracks down the lost quilts and their stories, she begins to piece together her family history and the secrets of her past.



TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

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