An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
Simon & Schuster
On Sale: November 1, 2005
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When Christmas Eve comes to Elm Creek Manor, the tenor of
the holiday is far from certain. Sylvia Bergstrom Compson,
the Master Quilter, has her own reasons for preferring a
quiet, even subdued, Christmas. Her young friend Sarah
McClure, however, takes the opposite view and decides to
deck the halls brightly. As she explores the trunks packed
with Bergstrom family decorations that haven't been touched
in more than fifty years, Sarah discovers a curious
Christmas quilt. Begun in seasonal fabrics and patterns, the
quilt remains unfinished.
Sylvia reveals that the
handiwork spans several generations and a quartet of
Bergstrom quilters -- her great aunt, her mother, her
sister, and herself. As she examines the array of quilt
blocks each family member contributed but never completed,
memories of Christmases past emerge.
At Elm Creek Manor,
Christmas began as a celebration of simple virtues -- joy
and hope buoyed by the spirit of giving. As each successive
generation of Bergstroms lived through its unique trials --
the antebellum era, the Great Depression, World War II --
tradition offered sustenance even during the most difficult
times. For Sylvia, who is coping with the modern problem of
family dispersed, estranged, or even forgotten,
reconciliation with her personal history may prove as
elusive as piecing the Christmas Quilt.
Elm Creek Manor is
full of secrets, from a Christmas tree with unusual
properties to the sublime Bergstrom strudel recipe. Sylvia's
tales at first seem to inform her family legacy but
ultimately illuminate far more, from the importance of
women's art to its place in commemorating our shared
experience, at Christmastime and in every season.
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