The Giving Quilt: Review & Giveaway

I spent the last week reading Jennifer Chiaverini's latest novel, The Giving Quilt.

From Plume Books:
Thanksgiving inspires generosity once a year, but what happens to the spirit of giving on the other 364 days? In THE GIVING QUILT, now available in paperback from Plume, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini takes a page from her own life to deliver an emotional and poignant story very close to her heart. As a long-time member and advocate of Project Linus, an organization dedicated to providing handmade quilts and blankets to children in need, Jennifer decided to donate a very unique and special gift—a prime spot in one of her bestselling novels.

 

At Elm Creek Manor, the circle of quilters is hard at work preparing for “Quiltsgiving.” Held annually the week after Thanksgiving, expert and novice quilters from near and far gather for a special winter session of quilt camp to make pieces for Project Linus. As the week unfolds, the quilters respond to the question, “Why do you give?” in ways as varied as the life experiences that drew them to Elm Creek Manor. Each of the quilters, including a librarian, a teacher, a college student, and a quilt shop clerk, uses her unique talents to teach, inspire, and give back to her fellow campers.

 

With numerous New York Times bestsellers, Chiaverini is undoubtedly one of the masters of both modern and historical women’s fiction. Year after year, Chiaverini’s stories remain beloved by fans and praised by critics.
  
And my thoughts:
I have read several of Chiaverini's books and have enjoyed all of them-- not just because they're about quilters (yes, I have read bad quilt-fiction), but because of the comfortable atmosphere the storytelling evokes.  I feel like I've been there, at Elm Creek Manor, and I can imagine being in the workshops, guild meetings, and quilt shops she describes.  They are easy reads, and even though I don't agree with all of her characters' quilting choices or methods, I feel she really captures the essence of a quilter, if there is such a thing.  But anyway.. The Giving Quilt is similar to her other novels set in modern day-- characters are introduced and then their individual stories are told.  The highlight of this particular book for me was the return of Karen, a quilter we met in Circle of Quilters, who interviewed for a teaching position at Elm Creek Manor, but her two small sons got in the way (I totally identify with this character, btw).  As realistic as her cast of quilters is, there are some purely fictitious elements of course-- all of the quilters' husbands! Now my husband is pretty amazing, funny, kind, generous, and I love him, but I could NEVER imagine him saying, "Oh honey, you work so hard, why don't I keep the kids while you go off for a relaxing week at quilt camp with your girlfriends."  hahahahaha!  Maybe one day, a girl can hope, right?


Plume Books has sent me two copies of the novel and six pins to give away to a handful of lucky readersNow I've never done a give-away before, so bear with me.. if you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment telling me about your favorite gift you've given to someone.  Make sure I've got a way to contact you (add your email address and/or make sure you're not a no-reply commenter).  The giveaway will close Friday, April 5th at midnight on the East Coast.  It's open to all-- I will ship internationally.  Thanks for playing~

Comments

  1. I gave my grandchildren iPads for Christmas. The look on their faces was priceless! Thanks for putting me in the drawing.

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  2. I've given my sister some little clothes I made for her little daughter. She is so cute. I'm now finishing a quilt for her to play on. I love the books from these series. Thanks for the chance!!

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  4. I've loved the Elm Creek Quilts books and donate regularly to Linus, so I am really looking forward to reading this one over summer vacation! It's hard to pick a favorite gift - but since my kids are still young, it would have to be some of the special items they've received from Santa over the last couple years. What bigger example of a parent's love for their child is there, than to give somebody else the credit for the best present that the child really really wanted? My son's first football - Santa. My daughter wanted a stuffed guinea pig - Santa. The scooter and the remote control helicopter - the big guy in red. Seeing their joy when their faith in his abilities is confirmed is totally worth it!

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  5. Fun giveaway! I've never read any of her books but would love to. I've enjoyed giving away all the quilts I've made as gifts. Oh and a couple of years ago I bought my husband a kayaking lesson and he loved it!

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  6. Oh, this is such a GREAT giveaway, THANKS for giving us a chance, dear Jessica!
    My favourite present was the quilt I made for my sister : although she's 5 years younger than me, she's always been stronger and ready to protect me in the school playground, as well as later when we were adults. I hand paper-pieced a stars quilt for her, and named it "my lucky star", because this is how I consider her ;>)

    I still haven't read "The Giving Quilt" but would LOVE to, as I very much appreciate J.Chiaverini's quilt novels.

    Good luck to all participants... and to me, as well! HeeHee...

    Gratefully,
    XOXOXO
    NADINE in Belgium.

    PS : impatiently waiting for your book to be available on Amazon.fr !
    It is announced with two different covers ---> one due by 15th April with only hexies on the pictures, and the other one due by beg. June like the one you show on your Blog. Did you know that ?

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    1. Nadine,

      My book does have 2 covers-- it is because there are two publishers: Potter Craft for the US and Canada, and Search Press for the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world. The UK edition has an earlier release date (April or May, I think it has been changed recently). Though the covers differ, the content is the same. :)

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    2. THANKS, Jessica... then I'm gonna order the UK edition ;>)
      Can't wait !

      XOXOXOXO
      NADINE

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  7. I have read the Elm Creek Quilt novels and always enjoyed them - my favorites being the Underground Railroad one and the Hawaiian one! I think my favorite gift was the 'baby' quilt that I made a good friend's daughter - it was a labor of love and the second quilt I had ever made, and the first one to be machine quilted! Thanks for the chance to win a great book - looking forward to it! And can't wait to get yours, either!

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    1. Eulalia,
      I would love for you to have a chance to win, but you didn't give an email address! Please reply with one, ok? Thanks!

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  8. The best gift that I've given to someone was a ship's clock that I bought for my husband for our first anniversary. He had always owned a boat (from 10' to 35') so he loved all things nautical. We still have that clock and it faithfully bongs (loudly) the hours and half hours. He loves it!! Thanks for the chance to win - I've read all of the Chiaverinni books and my favorite was the first one, The Quilter's Apprentice, but I love them all. Your statement that you feel like you are there at the manor is right on!!

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  9. My favorite gift is actually quilting related! Four years ago my husband and I gave my mom a trip to Paducah, KY for the AQS show (along with me, of course) as a Christmas present! It started a great tradition and this year is our fifth annual trip!!

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  10. I LOVE Jennifer's books! I have quite a few but am missing the last 2 or 3. I am really looking forward to reading this one. I feel a strange kind of bond with the characters and wish Elm Creek Manor was a real place! I don't know that I have one favourite gift that I have ever given anyone, but I can say that I always love giving quilts as gifts. The recipients are always so grateful for all the time and energy put into the quilts... They know they are made with love! Thanks for this awesome opportunity!

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  11. My favorite gift I gave has been a Valentine's Day gift...a best friend was in the hospital for cancer, couldnt give her loved one anything, and the loved one couldnt bear to leave...so I brought two wrapped gifts for each to give each other...and secretly gave them so they could exchange...new pajamas for the hospital time...it was very, very heartwarming. Peggy E

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    1. Forgot email, holly.lynn@live.com, thanks. Peggy E

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  12. I love Jennifer's books. She inspired me to visit Queen Liliuokalani's quilt in Iolani Palace by writing about in The Aloha Quilt. It was amazing! I loved giving my sister a quilt that she had picked out the focus fabric for. I chose the rest and she was delighted with the result.

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  13. Oh gosh how I would love to win her book. I have never read ANY of them!

    The best gift I have ever given was a quilt I made for my dear father this Christmas. Dad was diagnosed with two totally different types of cancer 2 years ago. Since then, my dad, who was NEVER cold has starting feeling chilly when he sits in his chair resting. I made him a warm, wonderful flannel and faux suede quilt. It was the highlight of my Christmas...and his.

    Thanks for the chance to win.
    lindapawlak@verizon.net

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  14. I am new to her books and I bought two last weekend. It's The Aloha Quilt and The Winding way quilt. I am reading The Winding now. I love to win this new book. Thanks for the chance to win.
    The best quilt I had give is the birthday quilt for my sister.

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  15. My favorite gift I have given someone was me! My dad lives in Utah and I was in TX and my husband and I decided to send me as his surprise birthday gift. I told a couple of people up there so they could get my dad where I needed him to be to surprise him. It was a wonderful trip and he loved it!

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  16. Oh please count me in...it been awhile since I've caught up on the Elm Creek books...I lost track a few years ago. My favourite gift to give is a quilt and one day I hope someone gives me my favourite gift to get...fabric! I drop hints every year, but no one has caught on yet! :o)

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  17. The best gift I have ever given was a bouquet of flowers, sent to my mom and dad on MY birthday with a note thanking them for that day __ years before. Even tough old dad shed a tear on that one. Carol

    artsygranny2@ yahoo.com

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  18. I'd love a chance to win a book written in English! I live in Hokkaido and don't read Japanese. I found your blog last summer when I was looking for a fabric store and found your post about Kanariya in Sapporo. I have been there many times after that and have been reading your blog ever since.
    I always think the best gifts are the ones I make. In January I finished a small quilt that looks like an aquarium of fish and sent it to the US as a baby gift.
    Thanks!

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  19. Thanks very interesting blog!

    Feel free to visit my weblog ford ranger

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  20. oh there are so many to choose from.....lets see..when my niece was 2 I gave her a costume of BabyBop that I made without a pattern. she loved it. loved it so much when she was 4 and it no longer fit we have a pic of her trying to fit into it! she is now 20 and cant wait for her baby to wear it. thanks for the chance to win! dawnieq73@aol.com

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  21. I've read several books of her too, but this one is new to me.
    My favorite gift at the moment is a kind of lamp, a white bowl with many tiny holes, it makes a wonderful warm light. I was looking for that kind of lamp now for 2 or 3 years and finally found it this spring. My sister admired my lamp very much and so I was very happy to find it and give it to her :-)

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  22. Oh darn - I just missed the give away. I really enjoyed this book and was happy to find the pattern for the giving quilt online. I plan to have my LQS have a quiltsgiving type event this year with the pattern.

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