The Wedding Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini
Reviewed by: Jennifer S. Roman, Radiantlit.com
Genre: Chick Lit, historical fiction, romance
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication Date: November 11, 2011
The latest installment of the Elm Creek Quilters series, The Wedding Quilt, takes place approximately twenty-five years in the future. In this novel, friends and family from near and far congregate at Elm Creek Manor to share in the happiness of Sarah and Matt’s daughter, Caroline, as she prepares to get married. Rather than spending the majority of the story on the wedding, however, the readers get a chance to “catch up” on some of the guests and their background stories. Readers certainly get to indulge in the fun of a wedding, but they also can answer the question “whatever happened to…” in relation to many key characters throughout the series. In a way, it’s like a reunion we didn’t know we were attending.
At first, the whole story felt disjointed or “missing” something. While Chiaverini makes an effort to indicate that the story takes place twenty-five years in the future, it still feels as though bits and pieces of certain story elements are missing since the previous books. Fortunately, if one gives it the time and attention to continue, the reader will find the stories of various previously-known characters to be interesting and fun. Some tie into local central Pennsylvania history, while others are just fiction. Best of all, we get to read about a surprise at the wedding: a secret gift Sylvia had set away for each of Sarah’s twins before she died. Of course, the story has a happy ending.
Despite the initial confusion, the book quickly welcomes Elm Creek fans to another installment of the beloved characters. As usual, Chiaverini keeps things clean and family-friendly. Even characters who have disagreements do not demonstrate violence, and there are no sexual undertones or vulgar language. People who love quilting, historical fiction, or even just a good story will be happy with this book. Older teens will be able to read the story without parents worrying about offensive content.
The only shortcoming is that the chapters are very long, so if reading this book before bed, the reader may have to stop in the middle of a chapter. While not terribly upsetting, it does create a bit of frustration for some people who just want to find a good stopping place. Still, the Wedding Quilt provides enough entertainment and stories of friendship to keep its readers happy.