Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Series: #4 in the Elm Creek Quilts series
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2002 for the book, 2008 for this audio edition
Length: 10 hours, 35 minutes
Narrated by: Christina Moore
From the publisher:
After learning of her family’s ties to the slaveholding South, Sylvia Compson scours her attic for clues and discovers a window into the world of her ancestors: the memoir of her great-grandfather’s spinster sister,
Gerda Bergstrom. Gerda’s memoir chronicles the founding of Elm Creek Manor and the tumultuous years when Hans, Anneke, and Gerda Bergstrom sheltered fugitive slaves within its walls, using quilts as a signal of sanctuary. But little did the staunchly abolitionist Gerda know that a traitor was among them, placing the Bergstroms in grave danger and leading to family discord, betrayal, and a secret held for generations.
With the help of the Elm Creek Quilters and clues hidden within antique quilts discovered in the manor’s attic, Sylvia stitches together the pieces of her past and decodes the true nature of the Bergstrom legacy.
I read the first three books in this series in print. They’re entertaining stories featuring strong friendships among a wide variety of women united by their love of quilting and its history.
In this one, the owner of the estate on which the Elm Creek Quilters conduct their summer quilt camps explores her own family history.
The story alternates between Sylvia’s present day search for information about whether a quilt owned by a family in Virginia is connected to her family and that of her ancestor’s lives in Pennsylvania during the years leading up to the Civil War.
Sylvia discovers that the family stories about helping runaway slaves is not exactly as her aunt told her.
I was much more interested in the story in Gerda’s memoir than I was in the present day part of the book. Sylvia seemed kind of grumpy for most of the book so I was glad whenever the story switched back to the historical fiction part.
I enjoyed listening to Christina Moore. Her voice characterizations for the various characters were well done and consistent so it was always clear who was speaking. She paced it well and I wasn’t tempted to switch to a faster playback speed.
When reading the print editions of the earlier books in the series I was always a bit annoyed that they didn’t include pictures of the quilt patterns mentioned in the book. With the audio it’s not any different in that I had to make notes of the names of the quilt patterns and look them up later.
It’s a series that I enjoy and will likely continue in the audio format.
3.5/5 for the book
4/5 for the narration