Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Review - The Union Quilters

The Elm Creek Quilters was the first series that I ever read about quilting. I think that I started reading them when I first started quilting. I used to listen to all of them, but I don't particularly care for the narrator and I found that I can read them much quicker manually (aka reading a hard copy).

In The Union Quilters, Jennifer Chiaverini revisits Water's Ford, Pennsylvania in the Civil War era. The book opens with many of the men from the town enlisting in the Union Army leaving the women behind to keep up with the work alone except for themselves and the children and various men who stayed behind for various reasons. Once the women start receiving letters from their men describing the lack of food and supplies, the women in the quilting circle begin raising funds and making quilts for their husbands and the fellow men in their infantry division.

I'm not sure why I was surprised at some of the fund raising that the women put together, but I was. I guess that I just didn't realize that the things that we do for fund raisers now have been used for so long. It was very interesting to read how the women went about their fund raisers and how they had to keep the men's hands out of what they were accomplishing.

In the end, many of the men returned to Water's Ford drastically changed men while some didn't return at all.

I think that this is one of my favorites from the series. While I don't particularly like how the books jump around chronologically, I have gotten used to it. Although, when reading this book, I couldn't remember much from the other books in the series from the Civil War period and one thing wasn't discussed until late in the book when it actually happened in one of the other books. Not having the actual books on hand, I was a little lost, but it all made sense when it was discussed at the end of The Union Quilters. I'm just used to having the past referenced in the first few chapters of books in series so that it is all fresh. But it really didn't affect the story in this case.

Overall, it was a great book. I can't wait for the next one!


Libby said...

Leave it to the women to have to do all the work!! jk. Is this the same series with Sylvia?

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks for the review! I can't wait to read it.

JayTee said...

I won the book from Quiltmaker's blog. I have read about half of is the first of Jennifer's books I have read. It does show how strong the women had to be. It is a good read

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Thanks for that review. I've mostly listened to the series (I don't mind the narrator). I haven't requested this one yet from the library but I'm looking forward to "reading" it.