Jennifer Chiaverini is one of my favorite authors, and I’m always excited to read her new books. I was even more excited to get an advanced copy of The Union Quilters to read for the blog.
In The Union Quilters, Chiaverini tells a touching story of how war affects us all. Set as the civil war is escalating, local men are being asked to volunteer to support their union and each of the Elm Creek Quilters have their own burdens of war. Dorothea sends her husband and her favorite quilt with him, as well as her brother, off into unknown battle. Constance struggles with Abel’s need to fight for his country, even though they won’t allow a colored man to serve. Anneke’s husband, Hans Bergstrom, who Elm Creek Quilters fans will be familiar with, is a pacifist who refuses to go to war, and Anneke is torn between her new country and her husband she loves. Also, Gerda, Han’s sister, is missing Jonathan who is married to another woman, but has a deep friendship with Gerda.
While the men of Elm Creek are off to war, the women band together to support their troops. Their grit and determination end up expanding their reach far beyond the Elm Creek Valley as they form the Union Quilters.
I am an admitted Elm Creek fan, and couldn’t wait to read this book, even though it wasn’t contemporary as some of my favorites have been, including Quilter’s Legacy or Master Quilter. This story is a compelling tale of heartbreak, joy, and how war touches us and leaves us forever changed. For those who love Chiaverini, this will be a must add for your collection. It was for mine. And if you’ve never read Chiaverini, this is a good time to pick her up.