Book Review: Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaverini

round robin quilt #elmcreek

The Elm Creek Quilters have begun a round robin…a quilt created by sewing concentric patchwork to a central block as it is passed around a circle of friends. Led by Sarah McClure, who came to Waterford, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Matt, a few years ago, the project is to be their gift to their beloved fellow quilter Sylvia Compson. But like the most delicate cross-stitch, their lives are held together by the most tenuous threads of happiness…and they can 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. In weaving together the harmonious, disparate pieces of their crazy-quilt lives, the Elm Creek Quilters come to realize that friendship is one of the most precious gifts we can give each other, and that love can strengthen understanding, lead to new beginnings, and illuminate our lives

Second in the Elm Quilters series and set 2 years after The Quilters Apprentice.

The Quilt camp started at the end of The Quilter’s Apprentice is up and running, and the group members all help out and give classes.

Each chapter gives focus on a different member of the group and the problems they have as they aim to make a round robin quilt for Sylvia . Bonnie finds her husband is about to meet a woman he knows from the internet in order to have an affair. Diane is having trouble with a neighbour when she builds a skateboard ramp in her back yard. Sylvia’s friend Andrew returns after a 50 year absence. Sarah’s relationship with her mother hasn’t gotten any better after the constant criticism directed towards her.

The book is short (approx 300 pages in paperback), and with only a chapter per person, the resolution of each problem can therefore seem trite and a little forced. Some people find Sarah an immature woman unwilling to move on, but they are clearly people who have not suffered from someone continually criticising everything they do.

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