THE CROSS COUNTRY QUILTERS
Simon & Schuster, Apr 2001, 21.00, 400 pp.
Everyone familiar with the hobby respects the famous quilting retreat at Elm Creak Manor in Waterford, Pennsylvania. Strangers come there to camp and life long friendships have formed such as the accidental meeting of the Cross-Country Quilters who vow to return next year.
The group consists of people from a wide variety of lifestyles. Long time attendee octogenarian Vinnie has been at Elm Creek every year since it opened. Julia the actress needs to learn the art for a part. Award winning Grace suffers from a nasty medical diagnosis that has left her with a quilter's mental block. Megan earned a week at the camp as a prize from a quilting magazine and is accompanied by her cyber-friend Donna, escaping from a daughter that is worrying her to death. Even after the camp ends, the participants stay in contact encouraging, boosting, and cheering each one's triumphs.
Jennifer Chiaverini has written a special book that demonstrates the resiliency and courage of an extraordinary group of determined women. Although Elm Creek manor is not the star of the story line, it serves as they catalyst that generates the development of subplots into a cohesive tale.
THE CROSS-COUNTRY Quilters is a powerful women's mainstream fiction at its literary best.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner