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The Quilter's Apprentice: A Novel (Elm…
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The Quilter's Apprentice: A Novel (Elm Creek Quilts Novels) (original 1999; edition 2008)

by Jennifer Chiaverini

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7543112,315 (3.71)31
Lindz2012's review
This was a well thought book to read. It about a Old woman and her home a bit along with quilting. We find out some things about Mrs. Compson. We also learn about her family history a bit and Elm Creek Manor. It quite a sweet story.

If you decide to pick this book up and start reading you will finding out the family history of Elm Creek Manor. Sarah is hired to be a personal assistant to help clean up the Manor. Matt is in charge of the restoration of the Manor.

This book is about forming friendships, relationships and quilting. You will be amazed by what all in the this book and what is about. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Jun 28, 2012 |
All member reviews
Showing 1-25 of 31 (next | show all)
This is an excellent book and I don't know how I missed hearing about this series earlier. Well, better late than never.

Sarah and husband Matt have just moved to a small Pennsylvania town for Matt's job. Sarah is frustrated and unhappy because she cannot find a job and feels like she is worthless. To try and cheer her up, Matt invites her to visit the "manor" where he is working to restore the gardens, orchards and grounds. While there Sarah meets the owner of Elm Creek Manor, Sylvia Compson. After overcoming an initial bad impression, Sarah goes to work for Sylvia to clean up and restore the manor house. In exchange Sylvia is willing to teach Sarah to quilt.

There is a lot of quilting in the story and the history of some of the blocks and what they can mean weaves the story together.

I'll be reading more in this series, soon! ( )
  bookswoman | Jul 3, 2014 |
An easy and enjoyable read. ( )
  silva_44 | Nov 24, 2013 |
I found this book interesting and quite delightful. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  GrannyNanny | Nov 20, 2013 |
A fun easy read book. At times it got a little too specific about the actual quilting. ( )
  KamGeb | Aug 10, 2013 |
Please Note: I only made it to page 31 (and it starts on page 9) before convincing myself that surely almost anything else I could find to do for the next 2 hours would be a life better spent. Who knows? Maybe page 32 would have been the magic turning point.

Plot: I suspect the main character becomes a quilter's apprentice.

Problems: I also strongly suspect that this is what happens when a bored or unemployed former writing instructor who enjoys quilting decides to write a book.

The author Jennifer becomes the main character Sarah. The author's husband Marty becomes the main character's husband Matt! The plot proceeds in a formulaic "how to write a novel" fashion. (If you're craving flashbacks to English class, I highly recommend this book! Remember to start with a catchy sentence to hook the reader, and then support your thesis.) The dialogue and action is forced and unbelievable - it reads like what an avid reader thinks should happen in a book, but not quite how things ever actually happen in real life. The term "bean counters" is used way too many times in 20 pages.

Predictions:

I will learn that "State College" is the name of a real town in Pennsylvania, not just an example of imagination withering and dying.

Aspiring writers will hopefully be reminded of the perils of writing about one's own mundane life.

Readers who do not enjoy quilting will be bored.

Readers who enjoy quilting will receive this book as a gift from those who don't know them well.

The publisher will profit on the quilting crowd and feelings of consumeristic obligation, the author won't be forced to find a new job, many trees will die. ( )
  BrownDeer32 | May 15, 2013 |
An easy read but not memorable.

This was a reasonable read but lacked depth, both in the characterisations and the descriptions of the house. Some of the quilting techniques were also hard to visualise and although I'm not a quilter, I do sew.
As expected, it was very American and at times I wished I had an American dictionary to hand.

Sarah McLure moves with her husband, Matt, to Waterford, Pennsylvania. He finally has a job, but she has had to give up her job for the move. She is desperately searching the ads and going to interviews for accounting jobs, though what she really wants is more of a PA role.
Matt is a landscape gardener and takes Sarah with him when he visits a new client at her estate known as Elm Creek Manor. The elderly owner, Sylvia Compton, is short tempered and rude, and Sarah takes an instant dislike to her. She is therefore surprised when Sylvia asks her to return to the Manor and offers her a job helping prepare the old house for sale. In addition, Sarah will receive quilting tuition from Sylvia, a master quilter. ( )
  DubaiReader | Apr 9, 2013 |
I enjoyed reading about the quilt stories as much as anything. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
A feel-good read, in an American cutesy kinda way. Lots of quilting and friendships between women, but certainly not a challenging read, not particularly insightful. ( )
  Tesca | Sep 9, 2012 |
This was a well thought book to read. It about a Old woman and her home a bit along with quilting. We find out some things about Mrs. Compson. We also learn about her family history a bit and Elm Creek Manor. It quite a sweet story.

If you decide to pick this book up and start reading you will finding out the family history of Elm Creek Manor. Sarah is hired to be a personal assistant to help clean up the Manor. Matt is in charge of the restoration of the Manor.

This book is about forming friendships, relationships and quilting. You will be amazed by what all in the this book and what is about. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Jul 14, 2012 |
First in a series, The Quilter's Apprentice weaves a tale of friendship and loyalty. Recommended for all interested in quilting as an art form. ( )
  lkarvan | Jul 2, 2012 |
This was a well thought book to read. It about a Old woman and her home a bit along with quilting. We find out some things about Mrs. Compson. We also learn about her family history a bit and Elm Creek Manor. It quite a sweet story.

If you decide to pick this book up and start reading you will finding out the family history of Elm Creek Manor. Sarah is hired to be a personal assistant to help clean up the Manor. Matt is in charge of the restoration of the Manor.

This book is about forming friendships, relationships and quilting. You will be amazed by what all in the this book and what is about. ( )
  Lindz2012 | Jun 28, 2012 |
Pleasant enough, but not really all that. This was the sort of comfortable read where I knew what would happen long before the plot got there. I did like the descriptions of the quilts, as well as learning that a Log Cabin block traditionally has either a yellow or red square at the center - and that a black square inside was a secret message for the Underground Railroad. How amusing that the authorities never noticed such feminine fripperies at all.
1 vote KaterinaBead | Mar 12, 2012 |
Fun and enjoyable read - nice focus on friendships and families. Enjoyed the quilting part of the story too. ( )
  lhtouchton | Feb 11, 2012 |
Beautiful start to a series about quilters, the author combines her loves of quilting and writing. Since I'm not a quilter, I got lost in some of the details, but enjoyed it all the same. I found myself looking up patterns on line to get some idea of what they looked like. I picked up the first three at the library, so on to the next one. ( )
  eliorajoy | Mar 22, 2011 |
Given to me as a late Christmas present, this is the first of the "Elm Creek" series.

Slowly but surely it tells the story of the recently married Sarah, who has moved to near Elm Creek with her husband and whilst looking for a new job, helps the owner of Elm Creek to clear the place to make it ready for sale. Sarah manages to chip away Sylvia's secret life, whilst learning how to quilt and introduce both of them into the local community.
  nordie | Feb 4, 2011 |
Back in State College, Pennsylvania, Sarah McClure was the one who was gainfully employed as an accountant while her husband Matt was a victim of downsizing. Now that they've moved, it's Matt who has a job in landscape architecture while Sarah searches unsuccessfully for a meaningful job. Matt is working on an estate owned by Sylvia Compson. When Sarah meets Sylvia for the first time, it's a little rocky. Like the quilt that they work on, they are piecing together fabrics of their lives. I've wanted to begin this series for a long time, and I'm really sorry that I've waited so long to do so. I loved the characters and eagerly look forward to revisiting them in future books. I enjoyed this first installment and have many others to which I may look forward. ( )
  thornton37814 | Nov 11, 2010 |
First in a long series mostly best read in order. A wonderful variety of characters, occasionally predictable, but mostly creativeand inspiring. These ladies, with all their disparate personalities, are ones that you would love to have as best friends. ( )
  upearly13 | May 30, 2010 |
Through the world of quilting, Chiaverini introduces us to some characters that have seemed to lost their way in life. This is the first segment in quite a large series and before opening the novel I was skeptical as to how one could go on with so many books about quilting. After reading the first book it was quite understandable.

Early in the book we are given a glimpse into Sarah's unsatisfying life. She has been a very good accountant but is not getting enough fulfillment from her job. Her husband has been unemployed for quite some time, so when he finds a job in another city, they decide that Sarah should give up the only security they have known with her accounting position so her husband can become the breadwinner once again.

After moving to the new town, Sarah joins her husband when he goes to evaluate a landscaping job he has to do at Elm Creek Manor, and when she meets the owner, Mrs. Compson, they seem to get off on the wrong foot. I really did not anticipate a friendship between these two women would blossom the way it did.

Sarah has been lonely since the move to Waterford, but once she decides to take up the hobby of quilting, she is introduced to ladies from all different walks of life. Through her quilting circles she learns why Mrs. Compson is so lonely and bitter, but decides to reach out to her in a different way. As Sarah and Mrs. Compson spend time together they find that they really have a lot in common and not only learn about each other but also discover their own hopes and dreams. This allows them to make changes in their lives that help them to be happier and more productive in their daily walk.

With themes of quilting, friendship, forgiveness, and starting over, this story really has a lot to offer. Not being a quilter myself, I thought the book included a bit too much quilting information for my taste and was also a bit predictable. Although this book wasn't one of my favorites, I know the ladies in my book group really enjoyed it. ( )
  jo-jo | May 18, 2010 |
A wonderful, gentle book which combines two of my main hobbies - reading and quilting. I suspect non-quilters won't get quite so much from this book as a quilter, but don't let that put you off. I love the characters and the setting, and can't wait to read the rest of the series. ( )
  JaneDickerson | Mar 7, 2010 |
Sarah's and Sylvi's lives intertwine against Sarah's will. In the end the two women end up bonding over quilting and open a quilter's retreat.
  MicheleUtah | Oct 20, 2009 |
The first in the Elm Creek series where we meet all the characters and start to learn about them. ( )
  AdorableArlene | Oct 1, 2009 |
bookazine ( )
  ikhoudvanboeken | Jun 9, 2009 |
This is a heartwarming story of a young couple, Sarah and Matt, who must leave the only home that they've known to move to another town so that Matt can get work. His new job puts Sarah in the position of being unemployed for the first time and searching for a job in a tough market. While she is searching, the cranky elderly woman, Mrs. Compson, that Matt is work for offers Sarah a chance to earn some money helping prepare her family estate(Elm Creek Manor) for sale. Sarah agrees provided that Mrs. Compson teaches her how to quilt. During the daily quilting lessons, Mrs. Compson and Sarah develop a close friendship while revealing their own life stories/issues/problems.
The stories that are related are at times powerfully moving, and reminders of our own errors. In total it is remarkable how this book can show that love and friendship can help overcome just about anything including past injuries and insults. The descriptions of the quilting processes that are intermingled throughout are fascinating. The only drawback is that at times, the character of Sarah seems a bit whiny. Hopefully, she'll out grow it in future books. ( )
1 vote cyderry | May 31, 2009 |
liked the subject, thought the writing was weak ( )
  bjkjell | May 31, 2008 |
The Quilter’s Apprentice is Jennifer Chiaverini’s first book. It is the first in a series called Elm Creek Quilts.

The book tells the story of Sarah McClure, who moves with her husband to a small college town. She ends up helping seventy-five year old Sylvia Compson prepare her family estate, Elm Creek Manor, for sale. Sarah is taught how to quilt by Sylvia as part of her compensation for helping out. During these lessons, a friendship between these two women build, and Sylvia’s past as a young wife on the home-front during World War II becomes more clear, as do the reasons Sylvia’s family was torn apart. And while tragedies of the past come out in the open, Sarah struggles to repair what is left of Sylvia’s family so she will have the will to fight to keep her family estate.

It is a heartwarming story about overcoming past hurts, family, friendship that overcomes even differences in age, and quilting of course. I highly recommend this book! ( )
  Samantha_kathy | Apr 21, 2008 |
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