I love Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilter novels and have devoured them since I discovered the series about a year ago. I've wanted to learn to quilt for quite awhile and since at this point, I have no one to teach me and can't really afford classes, I live vicariously through these books! I really enjoy the cozy, homey, feeling that the books give and the friendships they evoke. Though typically I enjoy the books that focus more on the present Elm Creek quilters, rather than the semi-historical novels that center upon past Elm Creekers or their families, this book was one of the best!
In 1925, newlyweds Elizabeth and Henry set out from Elm Creek Manor in Pennsylvania to run a ranch Henry purchased sight unseen in Southern California, they are both incredibly excited about starting their new lives. When they arrive in the small California farming town and learn they have been cheated out of their money, both are devastated to have lost not only all of their life savings, but also their dreams of running their own ranch, but are lucky to learn they will be given work at a local farm. Elizabeth puts her heart and soul into making their small cabin a home, while Henry begins to reject her affection, focusing only on his work, his pride having been hurt so badly that he feels he has failed his new wife. Chiaverini writes this story in a manner that connects the reader to Elizabeth. I read on and on, wanting to constantly know what would happen next. It was refreshing to see a woman in the 20's as headstrong and stubborn as Elizabeth, one who would not simply listen to every word her husband said and obey his every command. Elizabeth has a good head on her shoulders, content to be assisting in the money making ventures, as well as being a skilled quilter.
I really did enjoy this story and the accompanying side story. I really hope this isn't the end of the Elm Creek Quilter books, I always look forward to the next one. Maybe by the time that one is published I will be on my way to learn the art of quilting! 8 out of 10 from me.