cover image The Wedding Quilt

The Wedding Quilt

Jennifer Chiaverini. Dutton, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-95242-8

This latest installment in the popular Elm Creek Quilts series proves to be a mild, unambitious addendum. In the run-up to protagonist Sarah McClure's daughter Caroline's wedding, which takes place at Elm Creek Manor, Sarah reflects on the people and quilts who have figured in her life since she herself came to the manor as a newlywed. The resulting stories recap the plots of previous books, which may bore fans of the series, while not offering enough context for first-time readers. The drama surrounding Caroline's wedding lacks vigor: whether the wedding ceremony will be rained out; whether or not the memory album quilt that Sarah wants to give her daughter will be completed; and whether or not the bride and groom are too young. Moreover, the novel's central relationship%E2%80%94between Sarah and her daughter Caroline%E2%80%94feels uninhabited, stilted, and overly formal. Only die-hard fans will be able to appreciate this lackluster novel. (Nov.)