Let me just start by saying that I am really enjoying this series!! I kept hearing good things about them at the public library and picked up the first book, The Quilter's Apprentice, about a month ago and have been hooked ever since. I usually don't read series books - mostly because there are so many books out there that I have a hard time committing the quickly declining reading time that I have unless the series is really, really good. I also usually like to find books with a bit more substance, but I love listening to these books on playaway and find myself drawn to the various characters and storylines. I have a little over a half-an-hour drive to and from work everyday and they are the perfect books to listen to in the car (and sometimes in the driveway to finish a really good chapter!)
Sometimes after reading a lot of heavier and more complex books, I need to unwind with something a big more low-key. Sometimes I just want to read about real people doing real things and not have to think too much about why or how they are doing them. Sometimes I just need a break from thinking for awhile.
And these books just aren't just mind-numbing click-lit type books either. Even though they don't have that literary quality that I usually look for, there is a substantial amount of historical detail throughout a majority of the books and I am really enjoying learning about quilting!!
This story is a bit different from the previous novels. It is completely set in the present and comes back to the original Elm Creek quilters as they prepare a bridal quilt for Sylvia. As usual they all have secrets and problems of there own that are sorted out through the story. The book is unique in that each chapter is told from the view point of one of the different characters and overlaps in the time span of the story (about four or five months - I think). I don't remember ever reading a book that was done this way before and I thought it was done very well. As each chapter unfolds, readers learn more and more about how each of the characters are dealing with specific situations mentioned and why they are acting the way they are. Even though I missed having a historical aspect of the story, it was still interesting and I enjoyed how the author went more in depth about each of the main characters and showcased their lives and personalities.
I am going to give this series a break for awhile. I read somewhere that this was originally where Chaverini was going to end the Elm Creek Quilts book, so I figured it would be a good place to stop. I have grown to really enjoy these books, but I don't want to end up listening to them all in a few months - there are 20 total - even though I easily could. Plus I have a extremely huge and ever-growing list of "to-read" books at the moment (thank you to my new job at the public library as an adult services librarian!) There are a few holiday books coming up in the series and I am planning on coming back to them towards Christmas this year - can't wait, but it will be nice to explore some other titles and authors and are sitting on my desk as well! And perhaps I can also find sometime to learn how to quilt :)