A review by crafalsk264
The Quilter's Apprentice, by Jennifer Chiaverini

emotional informative relaxing slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I was in the mood for a good story without dark forbidding protagonists, gloomy houses, guns, murder, and mayhem. So I thought that this one would be just right. I had previously read a couple of books in the Elm Creek Quilters series so I was curious about the first book of the series.

Sarah and Matt McClure move to Waterford so that Matt could take a job with an architectural landscaping company. Sarah has been an accountant but she hopes to find a different job here. Her search is not going well, so she takes a temporary job with the owner of the house where Matt is working to bring the neglected gardens of Elm Creek Manor back to life. Sarah’s job is to help the owner, Sylvia Compson, to clear away 50 years of clutter so the house can be listed for sale. Part of her agreement about the job is that Sylvia, a master quilt maker, will teach her to quilt.

This book has several things that usually make a story attractive to me: warm, loving friendships or family, beautiful descriptions of a grand house and gardens, and a historical time slip for a background story. This one also includes a specialized art, quilting. Through her lessons with Mrs. Compson and her Thursday night meetings with the Tangled Thread Quilters, information on quilting is blended into the narrative. The solution to all their problems is to turn Elm Creek Manor into Elm Creek Quilts and offer quilting retreats and instruction. I enjoyed this book and will probably read through some of the rest of the series, the true indication that the book is a hit.