Book Review : The Quilter’s Apprentice, An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Sarah and Matt McClure are a young couple recently graduated from Penn State that have moved to Waterford, Pennsylvania. Matt has found a job, but Sarah has had a fruitless search for a job. Out of desperation she accepts a job cleaning for Sylvia Compson. As part of her payment Sarah insists that Sylvia teach her how to quilt.
Sarah slowly develops a friendship with the taciturn Sylvia as she hears the stories of the past. Sarah learns of regret, freedom, jealousy and pain from Sylvia and even begins to confront the problems within her own family.
Adult Point of View
I am not a quilter and am grateful for the descriptions of quilting to give me a greater appreciation for the motif that is ever present in Chiaverini’s novel. I am also grateful that the next book in the series did not repeat every quilting description.
I would consider The Quilter’s Apprentice to be a “good summer read”. The elements I enjoy in a light novel include, charming characters with whom it is easy to identify, a plausible sequence of events, a predictable and happy ending (even trite, but oh so satisfying), the opportunity to laugh out loud and even possibly shed a tear, and a dash of romance. The Quilter’s Apprentice includes all of these elements, there are a variety of characters that I feel certain every woman will find at least one who she can relate to easily. Chiaverini’s novel also has a nice flow to the events keeping my interest as Sylvia slowly reveals the mysteries of her life. Though we don’t have a lot of information about Matt, I feel he will be a good husband for Sarah and I’m satisfied to see the turn of events for their future happiness.
The second installment, Round Robin, stays in the present and feels slightly more soap-operatic with the growing list of problems in the quilter’s lives. I still enjoyed the novel and it completed thoughts I had of what “needed” to happen in the series. I do feel a slight concern that the majority of men seem to have much less substance than the women. Is this the way we see our men? As only an accessory when our deep relationships are only with women? I hope not! I’m sure this series is written this way to appeal to women and the sisterhood we may feel, hopefully it is not a commentary on men being somewhat useless unless they are fully supportive in their women’s lives.
I have browsed through other titles and it appears to be a series that will spin out on the core quilter’s lives and perhaps even go back in time upon occasion. It is a series that will be easy to pick up when I want a light read.
3 stars out of 5