This 17th installment in the Elm Creek Quilts series is a disappointing pastiche of previous novels, fleshed out to little effect.
It is the year 2028, and Sarah McClure’s daughter Caroline is getting married. Of course the wedding will be at Elm Creek Manor, which Sarah now owns, and all the remaining members of the Elm Creek Quilters will be in attendance. Though Chiaverini begins each chapter in the future (and trots out some futuristic gadgets for fun), most of the novel consists of flashbacks to an earlier time (that would be just about now) beginning when Caroline and her twin James were born. Elm Creek Quilt Camp is a reality, thanks to Sylvia’s inheritance of the manor and Sarah’s ingenuity, and now Sarah and Matt are expecting twins. Though Sarah has the help of all of her friends, she really wants Matt, who spends much of her pregnancy—and almost the birth of their children—away from home helping in his father’s business. Other reveries include Jeremy and Anna’s coupling (as soon as Summer was out of the picture); Bonnie’s romance in Hawaii that heals her broken life; and Gwen’s future career in Congress. In the midst of Sarah’s daydreams guests are arriving for wedding festivities; James is having a secret affair; and the spirit of Sylvia Bergstrom and the Double Wedding Ring quilt she made almost two decades ago confer blessings on the whole occasion. Unfortunately the novel’s sole concern is a rather trite epilogue for each of the beloved characters, and so the story lacks both insight and plot, focused as it is with explaining, in irrelevant detail, how it all turned out.
An artless endeavor.