Book Review: The Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini

masterquilterThe Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This ninth Elm Creek Quilts novel continues the series with a tribute to matriarch Sylvia Compson, who surprised her fellow quilters by marrying her longtime sweetheart on a recent holiday. Eager to honor their favorite Master Quilter, the Elm Creek Quilters hasten to stitch a bridal quilt for the newlyweds. Until the time comes to unveil the surprise gift, Sylvia will be the one in the dark.

Just when it seems that the women have everything to celebrate, forces conspire to threaten their happiness and prosperity. Two among them falter in their personal relationships, while another suffers financial problems. As still two others weigh the comfort of the present against dreams of a future far from Elm Creek Manor, closely guarded secrets strain the bonds of friendship with those who may be left behind

After two books focusing almost exclusively on Sylvia, this book turns back to the other Elm Creek Quilts members, with a chapter dedicated to individual members.

Covering roughly the same period of time, we get to see how the start of the new season affects each person. Sylvia and Andrew are now married, but without a wedding quilt, so the group band together to make one for them in secret.

Bonny, whose husband almost had an affair 5 years previously, finds out that her marriage – and the quilt shop – is coming to an end.

Mary Beth, the “arch nemesis” president of the Waterford Quilting Guild – and Diane’s next door neighbour has some shocking home truths to learn about her children and the Guild.

Summer moves in with her boyfriend, and confronts the fact that she is stagnating in Waterford, in no small part because her mother has manipulated her to remain.

All members of the group end up making life changing decisions, which will have an effect not only on themselves but on the wider group

It’s good to see the author changes her writing style enough to keep things interesting for the reader and moving along. It will be good to see new characters come in (and possibly some of the other characters leave or fade into the background).

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