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The Sugar Camp Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (Elm Creek Quilts #7)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  4,464 Ratings  ·  330 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, this riveting novel in the Elm Creek Quilts series is thick with secrets in the years before the Civil War.

History is thick with secrets—and Pre–Civil War America comes to vivid life—in this stunning and suspense-charged Elm Creek Quilts novel from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini

Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Heather Murphy
May 04, 2008 Heather Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that love to live and live to love!
Recommended to Heather by: Sarah G.
My favorite line in the book was “Men too often confused success with moral worth.” Moral conscience is a theme in this book. I enjoyed reading it because it was interesting by the 17th page whereas it usually takes me at least 50 pages to be engrossed. Also, it wasn’t too compelling that I couldn’t responsibly put it down and concentrate on more important matters. That’s the way I like books. Another very important quality to me is that the characters were praiseworthy each in their unique ways ...more
Jun 20, 2008 Pdoe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it is... if a book tells me it's an adaptation of an older, more well-known story, I enjoy it. It's fun to look for the elements of the original and see how they've been adapted. When the book doesn't do that, it just feels like a rip-off.

Take "Pride and Prejudice." Move it about 40 years forward and a couple thousand miles across the Atlantic, axe out pretty much everyone except Darcy, Wickham and Elizabeth and you've got "The Sugar Camp Quilt."

It is not an entirely felicitous
This book predates the history of the family in all of the novels. This book highlights Mr. Ligghit... the man that Sylvia's ancestors gambled out of the cabin/ land that eventually became Elm Creek Mannor.

Mr. L, as it turns out is a mean drunk who is up to no good at every turn. His neighbors that live on the Granger Farm have a maple sugaring business. The family that lives at the camp moved in with a cranky old Uncle that no one can stand. As it turns out- the Uncle was a stationmaster on the
Jan 04, 2010 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 7th story in the Elm Creek Quilt series, Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini, is different from all the other books in that it has no Bergstrom in it. This is pre-history. In The Runaway Quilt Sylvia learns of her family’s friendship with a Dorothea and her brother and how they became involved in the underground railroad accidentally through them. This story goes into how that family gets involved in it.
Dorothea’s Uncle hid a station on his farm while they lived there with him because h
Jan 26, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafts, quilts
One of the many books in the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini, this book could actually be more of a stand alone than any of the others. The only commonality it has with the other books are that some of the characters were briefly mentioned in a story in one of the other books. Aside from that, this is a book all its own.

We are first introduced to Dorothea, a young woman who lives with her Uncle and parents on her Uncle's farm. Her Uncle Jacob is a strict man and the family, while l
Feb 07, 2011 Loralee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dorthea Granger has had a hard life. Her family's farm flooded and they lost most of their earthly possessions including the quilt tops that she had painstakingly made for her hope chest. They have no where to go except her mother's brother. Her Uncle Jacob is a stern man. He has a strong work ethic and shows his disapproval when anyone isn't pulling their load.

Dorthea dreams about furthering her education and marrying someday, but at the age of 19, both dreams seem like just that--dreams. Whil
Apr 01, 2011 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone especially if interested in The Underground Railroad movement or slavery
I actually listened to this book in the car as I drove to and from work everyday about an hour total unless I run errands as well.

At first I was prepared to be disappointed because Sylvia, Sarah and the other Elm Creek quilters were not in the story at all. But this is an intriguing and informative tale of not only runaway slaves and the Underground Railroad but some pre-history to the Elm Creek series, even though it's the 7th in the series.

The greasy Mr. Liggitt (not sure of spelling since I'
Jun 05, 2011 Lorrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacob operated an underground railroad station at the Sugar Camp in Elm Creek Village. He owned the farm where his daughter, son-in-law, and two children came to live with him after an unfortunate traveling accident where they lost everything. Jacob never told his family about his abolitionist involvement. Instead he had Dorothea, his granddaughter, piece him a quilt which (unbeknown to her) gave the directions to the next safe stop. Jacob died while trying to give safe passage, and the family s ...more
The Sugar Camp Quilt novel takes us to the year 1849. This starts out with Abel Wright, a neighbor to the Grangers, who is on his way to purchase his wife's freedom from her owner. His wife is a slave and he wants to get her away from the slavers before she is sold off.

Jacob, uncle to the Granger's, wants Abel to wait until after the crops are in. But Abel insists he needs to go now or his wife may not still be there.

Once Abel returns with his wife, Constance, the Granger's go over to welcome he
Sep 26, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This installment of the Elm Creek Quilt novels takes us back again to Elm Creek's beginnings through the eyes of Dorothea Granger. I have to admit it started out rather slowly for me and took some time to really get into it. Knowing already a few details about Dorothea's life from previous novels it is not much of a mystery as to her love interest, but it was interesting to note how the characters all came together and got involved in the Underground Railroad.

I am happy that though Uncle Jacob
Oct 20, 2011 Valene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was okay but not as good as the others I have read. Not as exciting as the other quilter books that I have read. The end was more like what I like from the author. It was about a white family losing their farm to a flood and becoming basically as slaves to the white brother of the husband. The brother was very mean and firm with them and treated them like slaves. After he died they did find out that he had been running runaway slaves thru his sugar camp and helping the slave to escape ...more
There are something like thirteen books in this series, but I think it's more like a multi generational saga than a series. The story is set in 1849 when the anti-slavery groups were just beginning to exert themselves and the Underground Railway was setting up its routes, stations and guides. What I liked best about this book was the way characters revealed totally different characteristics as the story went on. There is a full range of types in this small village and the feelings of the 'townie ...more
Charlotta Norby
Oct 08, 2012 Charlotta Norby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Years ago I read several of the first Elm Creek novels. Initially, I really liked them, but after a while I thought they got a little tedious or almost repetitive. It was almost always more or less the same story; the 4-5-6 quilters were having camp at Elm Creek manor, and then there would be somebody - either among the quilt teachers or the students - who was going through a personally difficult time which everybody helped her get through. So I stopped reading her books for several years and h
Oct 08, 2012 Lora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an interesting story and I liked all the historical details that the author put into this book. I think the story could have been fleshed out a bit, and I thought the author spent too much time building up to the climax and then just like that ended the story, just felt cut off at the end.
I have not read any other books in this series, so I understand this is the prehistory to those books. I think you can easily read this book without having read the others.
One thing I thought
Mollie Matusick
Nov 25, 2014 Mollie Matusick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathalie S
Feb 10, 2013 Nathalie S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elisabeth Petty
This was one of Jennifer Chiaverini's finest books! There is not a mention of Sylvia or the other Elm Creek people. This is set entirely right before the Civil War in Creek Crossing (which later will become Waterford). Dorothea Granger has been asked by her irascible uncle to make a quilt which exacting pattern is unconventional. Later we find out, after her uncle's death,that the quilt is actually a map for runaway slaves to find their way to the next station on their way North to freedom. Doro ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book by this author which I have read, although a quilter relation says she's read them all and really likes them. It is set in a pre-Civil War period in Pennsylvania--which as a state not too far from the South had many pro-slavery citizens as well as abolitionists. the time is also when the laws of the country favored the owners of runaway slaves, and so hiding escapees was dangerously illegal in many ways. The heroine, Dorothea, is pitted against several men who suspect her ...more
This title, the 7th title in the Elm Creek Quilts series, tells the story of Dorothea Granger, one of the original inhabitants of the property that would later be known as Elm Creek Farm. In the days before the Civil War, abolitionists in the northern states often served as stops on the underground railroad, assisting slaves who escaped from their owners in the south. The penalty, if caught, could be life in prison or even death. When Dorothea's Uncle Jacob, with whom her family lives, dies unex ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is part of the Elm Creek Quilts series, it could actually stand alone, and could easily be read and understood by anyone who has not read any of the other Elm Creek Quilt novels.

This book is set in pre-Civil War years and deals with the issues of slavery and abolition. The main character, Dorothea, is a young woman who lives with her parents and harsh uncle on her uncle's farm. Through a series of events, she becomes involved helping runaway slaves as they move through the Un
I've heard from several friends that the Elm Creek Quilt serves by Jennifer Chiaverini were good books. This was my first, and while it was very readable, I didn't find it to be outstanding writing. The book is set in the days of the Underground railroad and the turmoil between abolitionists and pro-slavery. It is centered on the character of Dorothea Granger, a young woman whose family had lost their farm, and moved into the home of her Uncle Jacob. Uncle Jacob was stern, and often judgmental o ...more
Julie Barrett
Oct 12, 2013 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Wanted to read all the books in the series and this one sounds fascinating.
Dorothea is making Uncle Jacob's quilt. He had a certain design but to her the squares did not make sense.
Once you realize what they are depicting the secret will be out. The story tells of the times before the war when slaves were owned by others.
She hopes to get the quilt done for Christmas day to surprise him. She really labored over it and he didn't seem to appreciate her best w
Sep 22, 2016 kmm1985 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved it! want to read more of the series...
I can't seem to write a review without giving any of the exciting details away and all my favorite spots, so, I will say it was a thrilling combonation of mystery, history, and a little romance. :) Again, Jennifer Chiaverini weaves a beautiful story around the making of a quilt, family, and history. Loved it!

For some reason the author chose to include copy-cat lines and scenes from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Emma occasionaly throughout. Although fun, I found that a bit uncreative to c
Oct 07, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story; discovering how Mr. Nelson and Dorothea came to love one another, and how they played an important part in the success of the Underground Railroad before the start of the Civil War... and while these characters are fictitious, there were many wonderful, brave abolitionists like these two characters, whose acts of bravery and heroism really did save the lives of runaway slaves; Jennifer Chiaverini once again tells a magnificent story and captures my attention and imagination c ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Dixon
This is another in the Elm Creek Quilts series that I'm thoroughly enjoying, and it gives the story of neighbours of Elm Creek before Elm Creek became the family farm of the Bergstroms and the present-day owner, Sylvia. Dorothea and her parents live by the good graces of her uncle on his farm, having lost their own (communal) farm to flooding. They find the uncle demanding and judgmental, but there will be nothing for Dorothea's brother Jonathan to inherit if they don't suffer in silence.

This is
Sep 24, 2016 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like these simple stories focused around quilting.
Aug 27, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, the seventh in the Elm Creek Quilts series, takes a detour from the lives of the Elm Creek Quilters, and goes back to the time before Elm Creek Manor was built, when slavery was legal in the southern states and the underground railroad was helping slaves to freedom. In order to understand some of the characters in the story, it's helpful to read The Runaway Quilt.

The horrible Mr. Leggit, the original owner of Elm Creek Farm, works with slave catchers to capture runaway slaves, more for his
Jul 25, 2016 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This is the story of the Granger family who live with their Uncle Jacob who for years has been teaching them to be the farmers they need to be. He has taught them more than they actually realize in the end. A family drama about people not always being what we initially think; and striving upon our own convictions to make a difference. The Sugar Camp Quilt turns out to have much more importance than what the family understood. This book is not classified as Christian Fiction but it is perfectly c ...more
Sep 21, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read any of the other books in this series. This one seemed to stand on its own. Enjoyable though predictable plot. The book really got me thinking about what role I would have taken pre-Civil War. Would I be the outspoken crusading Abolitionist or the silent, behind the scenes Station Conductor? Probably a protesting Abolitionist. I can't keep a secret to save my life!
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Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Se ...more
More about Jennifer Chiaverini...

Other Books in the Series

Elm Creek Quilts (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Quilter's Apprentice (Elm Creek Quilts, #1)
  • Round Robin (Elm Creek Quilts, #2)
  • The Cross-Country Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts, #3)
  • The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #4)
  • The Quilter's Legacy (Elm Creek Quilts, #5)
  • The Master Quilter (Elm Creek Quilts, #6)
  • The Christmas Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #8)
  • Circle of Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts, #9)
  • The Quilter's Homecoming (Elm Creek Quilts, #10)
  • The New Year's Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #11)

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