Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway

UPDATE:  Sorry for the delay, I was feeling a bit under the weather for the past few days,
I put all the eligible names in a hat and the first name drawn was Lisa Lisa, second name was Sandie, and the third name Crafter1953.  Thank you to all who commented!

 I received two paperback copies from the publisher last month of Jennifer Chiaverini's newest Elm Creek Quilts book, The Giving Quilt in exchange for a review. [The paperback version goes on sale April 2.]  I also have three sets of pins to give away, one with each book and a set by themselves and as this is a quilting blog and the book is about quilting,  I think a fat quarter might find its way into each winner's package! So let's get started.

This is the first Elm Creeks Quilts novel I have read so I can't compare it to Ms. Chiaverini's other books.  I don't really read this genre (historical women's fiction) that often. Briefly, Elm Creek Manor is hosting a free "Quiltsgiving" retreat for a group of volunteer quilters where quilts will be made to be given to Project Linus.  The novel delves into the lives of five of the participants:  Pauline (my favorite character), Linnea (a librarian), Michaela (a college student), Jocelyn (a teacher), and Karen (a quilt shop clerk).  The reader learns of the adversities each character has had to overcome.  The staff of Elm Creek Manor is not addressed much but I get the idea the reader already knows them from prior books.  I enjoyed reading about the quilting retreat whether it be about the participants getting to know each other, the extensive sewing time, and my favorite, being served three meals a day of delicious food without having to cook a thing!  I must say all the characters sounded like nice people, a few I'd like to spend some time with as long as we don't discuss politics.  An off-putting fact for me was that all the characters were left-leaning and a few promoted their views rather heavyhandedly.  For example, talk radio gets bashed while left-leaning NPR is promoted.  Another character instructs her budding journalist students " shine the light of truth upon injustice and inequity, and to never ignore an opportunity to make their community and the world a better place."  Somewhere along the way the purpose of the media has been lost or I should say taken over by people who want to further their agenda and not simply report the news.

I think the theme of the book is how we all encounter difficulties in life or as Jocelyn says, "Life wasn't fair, and sometimes goodness wasn't rewarded, and sometimes the wrong people won."  But no matter how bad your situation is, there is always someone having a worse time than you.  Helping other people ends up helping ourselves through the positive feelings generated by our actions.  We all have different motivations for charity, as different as we are as people, it seems. I think the book does a fine job of exploring this idea.

More info about the quilt pattern made in the book and Ms. Chiaverini's other books can be found here.  

If you're interested in winning a book,  just leave a comment and answer the following questions:  what quilting fiction (if any) do you read? What are your favorite books?  How you ever made a quilt to donate to Project Linus?

Sorry, I can't send international on this giveaway.  I'll pick 3 winners on Wednesday, April 3.  Please make sure I have a way of getting in touch with you.
 Almost forgot, here are the pins,
Thanks for visiting.