Simon & Schuster, April 2002, 21.00, 256 pp.
Elm Creek Manor, the estate owned by Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, is doing quite well as a quilter's camp and resort. The founding members of the business now see fifty campers per week coming to learn and exchange interests. The business is a success beyond their wildest dreams and Sylvia now has a new lease on life. She makes peace with her remaining in-laws, has more friends than she can count, and even has a guy that wants to marry her.
She's very proud of her family heritage and when she discovers the diary of Gerda Bergstrom, she can't wait to read it. Once she begins, she realizes that Annekee and Hans, Sylvia's ancestors and Gerda's brother and sister in law are not the paragons of virtue she was led to believe. In fact, one of Annette's actions is so horrible that it affects Sylvia in the present, making her doubt who she is and from whom she came.
If the audience is not interested in genealogy before reading THE RUNAWAY QUILT, they will be after finishing it. The author shows how using primary and secondary resources, a person can learn about their family over five generations ago. Jennifer Chiaverini is a brilliant storyteller who creates characters we've grow to care about especially when they're in the middle of a quandary.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner