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An Elm Creek Quilts Novel

A dutiful daughter and niece, Dorothea Granger finds her dreams of furthering her education thwarted by the needs of home. A gifted quilter, she tragically loses her hope chest in a flood. A superior student, she is promoted from pupil to teacher — only to lose her position to the privileged son of a town benefactor. But the ultimate test of her courage and convictions comes with the death of her stern uncle Jacob, who inexplicably had asked Dorothea to stitch him a quilt with four unusual patterns of his own design. After he meets with a violent end, Dorothea discovers that the quilt contains hidden clues to guide runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad.

Emboldened by the revelations about her uncle's bravery, Dorothea resolves to continue his dangerous work. Armed with the Sugar Camp Quilt and its mysterious symbols, she must evade slavecatchers and outwit unscrupulous neighbors, embarking upon a heroic journey that allows her to discover her own courage and resourcefulness — unsuspected qualities that may win her the heart of the best man she has ever known.

Told with Jennifer Chiaverini's trademark historical suspense, The Sugar Camp Quilt blends danger, moral courage, romance, and hope into a novel of antebellum America whose lessons resonate with timeless honesty. About the Author Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of Elm Creek Quilts novels, as well as four collections of quilt projects inspired by the series, and is the designer of the Elm Creek Quilts fabric lines from Red Rooster Fabrics. She lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. She makes her characters and plots so real readers feel as if they've stepped back in time.

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Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Extract Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews "Jennifer Chiaverini is one of the most compelling storytellers Chapter One: "Abel Wright intends to purchase his wife's freedom before the month is out," Dorothea's father said to Uncle Jacob. You will go with him, of course?


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They had spoken of this occasion often and had agreed that Robert ought to accompany Mr. Wright south to Virginia, both to share the work of driving the horses and to discourage unscrupulous interlopers. The abolitionist newspapers told of proslavery men who became so incensed at the sight of a newly freed slave that they would seize him and sell him back into slavery. Not even Mr. Wright was safe from their ilk, for all that he had never been a slave. If anything, enslaving him would bring them even greater pleasure. Uncle Jacob's face bore the grim expression that Dorothea likened to a block of limestone.

He'll go alone rather than wait for me. He likely has more goats than corn on his place. He can afford to leave his farm during the harvest. We can't. The implication was, of course, that he intended to change his will, and not in favor of his only living relatives. Dorothea waited, but Uncle Jacob said nothing more until mealtime gave way to evening chores.

As they cleared the table, Dorothea's mother remarked that Uncle Jacob had not expressly forbidden Robert to go, which in his case was almost the same as giving his blessing. They both knew she was putting her brother's obvious disapproval in a better light than it deserved. Dorothea knew her uncle would have expressly forbidden the journey for anyone but Abel Wright. Uncle Jacob had no friends, but he respected Mr.

Wright for his independence, thrift, and industriousness, qualities he would have admired in himself if doing so would not have occasioned the sin of vanity. Uncle Jacob had never declared whether he was for or against slavery, at least not in Dorothea's presence. According to Lorena, Uncle Jacob's long-deceased wife had been a Quaker and a passionate abolitionist, but he never spoke of her and Dorothea had no idea whether he shared her views.

Still, she suspected her uncle's objections to the journey had nothing to do with his moral position on the subject of slavery and everything to do with the pragmatics of farming.

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The Elm Creek Quilts Books by Jennifer Chiaverini from Simon & Schuster

Despite Mr. Wright's reasonable urgency to free his wife from bondage, Uncle Jacob likely could not comprehend how a sensible farmer could take off on any errand when the most important work of the year needed to be done. Of course, Uncle Jacob knew all too well that his sister's husband was not a sensible farmer. If he had been, Uncle Jacob would not have been obligated by the ties of family and Christian charity to take in his sister's family after they lost their own farm.

Later that night, Dorothea asked her father if she might accompany them, but her father said this particular errand was too dangerous for a girl of nineteen. Wright has made the trip so many times," protested Dorothea. I will not hire kitchen help, too. Her uncle had not even looked up from his Bible as he spoke, but any interruption of his nightly devotion was unusual enough to reveal the strength of his feeling on the subject.

Robert left for the Wright farm as soon as the sky had lightened enough for safe travel.


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  • Though the sun had not yet risen, Uncle Jacob was already at work in the barn, but he did not break away from his chores to wish his brother-in-law a safe journey. Lorena had packed the horse's rucksacks with so much food that they strained at the seams, and Robert thanked his wife for providing enough to eat for a month of sightseeing. Mother and daughter smiled at his joke, for they knew he intended to make the journey as swiftly as possible. They kissed him and made him promise to take care, then followed him down to the Creek's Crossing road, where they stood and watched until horse and rider disappeared into the cool, graying mists that clung to the hills south of the farm.

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    When they could no longer see him, Lorena glared at the barn and said, "See how little he cares for us. He might never see my husband again, and yet he cannot even stir from the barn to bid him farewell. Likely, too, he knows Father will certainly return. Of course your father will return. Perhaps earlier than we expect him. Wright will not want to linger in the hostile South.

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    Dorothea knew, too, that her mother often spoke wistfully of small acts of disobedience none of them dared commit. They were beholden to Uncle Jacob and must not commit any transgression that might tempt him to send them away. Uncle Jacob had no wife and no children, and therefore, no heir save his nephew, Dorothea's younger brother. If they served Uncle Jacob well and bided their time, one day Uncle Jacob's acres, house, and worldly goods would belong to Jonathan.

    For five years her parents had clung to these hopes with almost as much fervor as they pursued the abolition of slavery.

    Completely Quilted

    They rarely seemed troubled by the doubts that plagued Dorothea. Uncle Jacob might marry again. He was older than her mother but even older men had taken young brides, although Dorothea could name no young woman of Creek's Crossing whose prospects were so poor she should settle on a stern, gray-haired, humorless man who had ample property but eschewed anything that hinted of romance. If he had once had a heart, he had buried it in the maple grove with his young bride and twin sons long before Dorothea was born.

    Sometimes Dorothea suspected her parents were not entirely certain Jonathan would succeed in inheriting his uncle's farm.