Wonderful historical fiction about the underground railroad and how runaway slaves would know from special quilts where they could hide and be safe and how this affected those who held stops along the railroad. Very interesting!
Another wonderful Elm Creek Quilt novel as Sylvia Compson searches for the meaning in an ancestor's quilt! As she searches, she uncovers family conflicts and an old secret plus a possible connection to the Underground Railroad!
What a great story with interesting twists as Sylvia (owner of Elm Creek Manor) reads the memoirs of her ancestor Greda. It's a great story about the research required when delving into history. While many people think it's just a past-time to keep women busy, quilts have played an important part of history. This story reminds the reader of their value and the value of friends and family. Great read!!
tani reviewed The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, Bk 4) on
It's been awhile since I read a quilting book by Chiaverini, but so far as I can remember, this is the best one yet (though I liked the other three I read, too). Interesting complexity, suspense, and--as always--love and understanding.
This was the best in the series... so far! All about Sylvia's roots and how Elm Creek Manor came to be. Really draws you in and keeps you interested in the lives of her ancestors. As Sylvia reads the memoir written by Gerda you feel as if you are right there experiencing it all.
I am reading the Elm Creek Quilts series in order and "The Runaway Quilt" is, by far, my favorite so far.
This book is unique from the first three in the series in that it does not center around "current" Elm Creek manor and its quilt camps, etc. The main story takes place in the late 1800's.
I enjoy historical fiction and was thoroughly captured as this story is told as Silvia reads the journal left by one of her ancestors. I always appreciate a look back at how hard people worked in earlier times, and here we are also enriched with a look at the Underground Railround as Elm Creek Farm participates as one of its stations. And the legends (relayed in the story) regarding the part that quilts may have played as signals to runaways are interesting too.
Alerted to the possibility that her family had ties to the slaveholding South, Sylvia scours her attic and finds three quilts and a memoir written by Gerda, the spinster sister of clan patriarch Hans Bergstrom. The memoir describes the founding of Elm Creek Manor and how, using quilts as markers, Hans, his wife, Anneke, and Gerda came to beckon fugitive slaves to safety within its walls. When a runaway named Joanna arrives from a South Carolina plantation pregnant with her master's child, the Bergstroms shelter her through a long, dangerous winter -- imagining neither the impact of her presence nor the betrayal that awaits them.
The memoir raises new questions for every one it answers, leading Sylvia ever deeper into the tangle of the Bergstrom legacy. Aided by the Elm Creek Quilters, as well as by descendants of others named in Gerda's tale, Sylvia dares to face the demons of her family's past and at the same time reaffirm her own moral center. A spellbinding fugue on the mysteries of heritage, The Runaway Quilt unfolds with all the drama and suspense of a classic in the making.
I like all the books in this series, but this is the best by far. The story of how quilts may have played a part in the Underground Railroad is a fascinating one, and the journal tells a story which keeps the reader, and Sylvia spellbound to the end.