As each holiday season approaches, some revel in welcoming the New Year ahead; others quietly mourn the passing of time gone by. "We can't hold on to the past," says Master Quilter Sylvia Compson, "but we can keep the best part of 'Auld Lang Syne' in our hearts and in our memories, and we can look forward to the future with hope and resolve." As Sylvia, a late-in-life newlywed, has discovered, love can enter our lives at any age. Yet before she can truly delight in her present happiness, she must face the sorrow hidden in her past -- her own role in the tragic circumstances that left her estranged from her sister, Claudia, until it was too late to make amends. Vowing not to repeat the mistake with her new daughter-in-law, Amy, who opposed Sylvia's marriage to her father, Andrew, Sylvia must convince Amy that family is more precious than pride. As Sylvia takes up a quilt for the season, begun and abandoned over six years, she recalls the New Year's Eve festivities of her youth at Elm Creek Manor as a member of the Bergstrom family. She titles the quilt "New Year's Reflections," after her belief that year-end reflections precede resolutions. The quilt blocks she chooses commemorate the wisdom that no one can ever be truly alone if she keeps the memory of those she loved and those who loved her alive in her heart. The New Year's Quilt is a novel to enjoy today and to treasure anew each holiday season.
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by Jennifer Chiaverini
"Though part of Chiaverini's generally well-done Elm Creek Quilt series, NEW YEAR'S QUILT is, overall, disappointing. Christina Moore's narration is adequate as the story moves between the present and the past. In the present, Sylvia and Andrew travel on their honeymoon to reconcile with Andrew's daughter. In the past, Sylvia learns lessons about the cost of broken relationships, and these drive her to encourage Andrew to mend his relationship with his daughter. It's hard to breathe life into a story that is just going through the motions. As the shortest book in the series, with more than half of it spent in back story that fans have already heard, it gives one the feeling the author has run out of ideas for the series. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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