The Council of Friends of Lancaster County Public Libraries will present their 15th Anniversary Author Luncheon fundraiser on Thursday, April 16th. One of two authors speaking at the event is Jennifer Chiaverini, the bestselling author of several historical novels and the Elm Creek Quilts series. The Elm Creek Quilts series presents heart-warming stories with a focus on small town life and featuring women who gather from all walks of life at a quilter’s retreat in Pennsylvania. (According to Chiaverini, the series’ fictional town of Waterford is based upon State College where she met her husband in a creative writing course.)
The Quilter’s Apprentice is the first Elm Creek Quilts novel in the series. New to Waterford, Sarah McClure accepts a temporary job at Elm Creek Manor helping seventy-five-year-old Sylvia Compson prepare her estate for sale. As part of her compensation, Sarah is taught how to quilt and a friendship develops between the two women.
Jennifer Chiaverini’s most recent books include two historical novels based on life in the Lincoln White House. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker is a fictionalized account of the friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley. Keckley, who bought freedom from slavery for herself and her son, was a self-made woman who gained fame as a seamstress for both Northern and Southern political elite. When the Civil War began she chose to remain in Washington, D.C. where she was drawn into the life of the Lincoln family.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival is a follow-up to Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. This novel traces the rivalry between Kate Chase, daughter of Lincoln Cabinet member Salmon P. Chase, and the President’s wife. Beautiful and intelligent, Kate was one of the most highly regarded women of her day. Her efforts to promote her father as a future presidential candidate and her marriage to the wealthy young Governor of Rhode Island put her at odds with Mary Todd Lincoln.
Books by Jennifer Chiaverini, and these titles by authors who also write biographical fiction or heartwarming and character-driven stories, are available to borrow from the Lititz Public Library.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
A tale inspired by the lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald follows their marriage in defiance of her father’s opposition and Zelda’s abandonment of her upbringing in favor of a scandalous flapper identity.
Madame Picasso by Anne Girard
Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside and finds work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge where she catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.
Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood
Explosive love triangles wrecked the lives of four women who thought their marriage to dashing writer Ernest Hemingway would last forever.
Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb
Sailing from her Martinique plantation to Paris to join the royal court, Rose Tascher is abandoned by her aristocratic soldier-husband amid the chaos of the French Revolution and reinvents herself as Josephine, a beautiful socialite who catches the eye of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Friendship Bread by Darien Gee
Still reeling from personal tragedy that left her estranged from the sister, a woman remains at a loss as to how to move on with her life until she receives an anonymous gift of Amish Friendship Bread.
Friendship Cake by J. Lynne Hinton
The Hope Springs Community Church women’s group decides to share recipes and create a cookbook, a project that makes them better friends.
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
A group of quirky, down-to-earth inhabitants of a small town in Oklahoma helps a stranded, pregnant teenage girl.
The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
Hard times in Depression-era Harveyville, Kansas, are softened by the conviviality of a weekly quilting circle called the Persian Pickle Club.
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March 6, 2015