Book Review The Lost Quilter

May 14, 2009 book review 7

From Publishers Weekly:
n her 14th series installment, Chiaverini picks up the threads from The Runaway Quilt to spin another tale of adventure, love, perseverance and, of course, quilting. When Sylvia Bergstrom Compson and her staff find a stash of old letters hidden in an antique desk in the manor’s attic, the story whips back to 1859 to recount the travails of the formidable Joanna North, an escaped slave who spent a brief respite at Elm Creek Farm. Joanna is recaptured and sent back to the Virginia plantation she thought she had finally escaped, and is eventually dispatched to Charleston to work under her former master’s demanding newlywed niece, Miss Evangeline. As the Civil War looms, Joanna learns that for a slave, nothing-love, family, loyalty-is sacred or certain, and she never ceases plotting her final escape in the patterns of her scrap quilting. This satisfying and redemptive narrative unfolds with cinematic clarity, and Joanna’s journey is sure to have readers holding their breath for her until the last page. (Apr.)

I’ve read most of the books in this series, but I have to be honest, this one was even better than most. These books are a quick read, and most are the tales of the women of Elm Creek Quilts, but as the review says, this is more about a run away slave and her journey after she is recaptured.
I’ve read many books about the times of slavery and most tell of the horrors of how slaves were treated, but this book puts a face to it, and puts you up close and personal with Joanna and her family and the slaves she lives with. I was reminded of the mini-series Roots and how it told these tales. I felt that drawn into the daily challenges that these people faced.
I think this is a perfect summer read, and you don’t have to read the 13 books prior to this in the series, though the “Runaway Quilt” would give you more background on Joanna.

What books have you read that have taken you back in history, and given you a deeper look at a life we can’t imagine?

7 Responses to “Book Review The Lost Quilter”

  1. wenderful

    My mom wore White Shoulders too. It always reminds me of her.
    Thanks for stopping by and helping me celebrate my sits day today! I had ginormous fun.

  2. My name is PJ.

    Some of my favorites were written by John Jakes: The North South Trilogy of books and the 8 volumes or so, beginning with The Bastards. They were eye opening for me when I first read them, because the story they told was based on unvarnished truth, like Roots. I also enjoyed all the Philipa Gregory books about the different rulers and royal families of Britain…I’d had no idea monarchy was so political – I thought they were gods to their peeps. James Michener’s Chesapeake…lots of history about an area I’ve lived in for the past 20 years…Those are the books at the front of my faltering brain today. Great post, kiddo!

  3. Pam

    This series of books is incredibly popular at the library where I work. I haven’t read any of them, but this one does sound intriguing.

    I’ve read loads of books that take me to a time and/or place in history that I don’t know much about (I love historical fiction). The most recent one was Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. It tells the story of the leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i. It’s a fascinating look at the lives of these people who were stripped from their homes and families and made to live in exile, but were able to build happy and full lives for themselves. Fascinating!

  4. Tammy Howard

    Golly, what a thought provoking question! I am driving myself (and my husband) mad trying to come up with the name of a book we both read a couple years ago. We can both recreate the plot pretty well, but neither of us can come up with a title or an author. I clearly remember reading it on the exercise bike in the gym and starting to cry. Not just tearing up, but crying. I had to go to the locker room. Dang! You’d think the title of something so powerful would stick with you! We’ll keep trying to come up with that…

  5. Terra

    Oh no, I think I just added 13 books to my want to read books. I am sending this to my mom, wondering if she would like them. thanks a billion for the review!

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