THE LOST QUILTER by Jennifer Chiaverini, 2009. I have read a few of Chiaverini’s books and I enjoyed all but one, THE MASTER QUILTER.
This is the story of quilt that goes by three names- Birds in the Air, after it’s pattern; The Runaway Quilt, after the woman who sewed it and The Elm Creek Quilt after the place to which it’s maker longed to return. The quilter who made it was a slave named Joanna who was a fugitive slave who traveled on the Underground Railroad in 1859 trying to reach a safe haven at Elm Creek Farm. Now doesn’t that sound interesting?
Joanna was caught by slave catchers and returned to Josiah Chester’s plantation in Virginia, but she left behind her most precious possession, her son. Hans and Anneke Bergstrom and their maiden aunt Gerda raised the boy as their own, and the secret of his identity died with their generation. But a Bergstrom descendant named Sylvia Bergstrom Compson treasures the antique quilt made by Joanna, and she tries to find out the mystery of the quilt.
Joanna was punished for her escape by being sold off to her master’s brother in Edisto Island, South Carolina, and she grieves for the loss of her son and resolves to run again, to reunite with him someday in the free North. Meanwhile she finds love in the slave quarters where he skill with a needle becomes highly prized. Joanna pieced together a quilt full of the clues to lead her back where she left her son.
NOTE: There is much more to tell you as I read the rather long Blurb in the book jacket and I just can’t be bothered to tell you everything, but it sounds like a great adventure. Why don’t you read this also because It sounds very interesting, similar to another book I read about a slave and a quilt.
NOTE: I’m very disappointed to tell you that I never did find out what happened to the lost quilter’s son who was left behind in Pennsylvania after she was caught by the slave catchers.. Maybe I missed it.. maybe it tells you, but I think she never found out. I hoped the women from the present time in the story would have found out.