15 March, 2010

The Quilters Legacy

The Quilter's Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini

I got The Runaway Quilt, The Quitler's Legacy and The Master Quilter in one anthology so they got read in one hit.

The Quilter's Legacy focuses on Sylvia's search for 5 quilts her mother made and her sister sold during her and Sylvia's estrangement. As a child, Sylvia knew these quilts as the "fancy quilts." Ones bought out for special visitors as opposed to the every day quilts usually draped on the beds.

Using a variety of clues, Sylvia and the rest of the Elm Creek quilters track down what has happened the 5 quilts. Some are recovered, others aren't, but in the end, their fates are mostly known.

Running parallel to Sylvia's hunt, is another lesson in her forebears history. The reader is let into the story Sylvia doesn't know - how each quilt came to be made and it's significance to her mother. Obviously Chiaverini felt that another undiscovered diary would be way to much of a plot device, especially straight after The Runaway Quit used it. I'm glad though, that she allowed the reader to know what had happened, even if her characters remained in the dark. At the end of the book however, when Sylvia finds the last remaining quilt and sets the record straight on it's maker and part of it's history, she vows to delve into her mother's history and find out about it, acknowledging that her mother's side of the family is just as much a part of her personal history as her father's already much lauded and celebrated heritage is.