The Giving Quilt from the Elm Creek Quilts Series (Penguin Group, 2012) lives up to the quality I've come to expect and enjoy. While this is a Thanksgiving-themed novel, it is appropriate to read any time of year.
The ladies of Elm Creek Manor are hosting Quiltsgiving - a time for quilters to gather and make quilts to donate to Project Linus, a national organization dedicated to providing for children in need through the gift of blankets, quilts, and afghans. The novel focuses on the individual stories of several of the attendees and what has brought them to Quiltsgiving. Pauline is a member of an exclusive quilting group where she no longer feels welcome. Linnea is a librarian fighting to keep her library open in tough economic times. Michaela is a college student whose dreams of becoming a cheerleading coach seem to have bitten the dust. Jocelyn is a young widow, mother, and teacher, struggling to rebuild her life after the sudden death of her husband, and Karen who is facing her fears and embarrassment, returning to Elm Creek Manor after failing to garner a position as a quilt teacher there a few years before. As these women become friends, share their stories, and work on their quilts, they will each make some self-discoveries and grow in the process.
This is an uplifting, enjoyable read - perfect for anyone who enjoys quilting or positive-themed women's fiction.