|Tulip Quilt Block|
Welcome to the free, online Quilters' Book Club. This month we'll be reading and discussing Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas. So grab the book from your local library and come join us! Here's a note from the author, providing some background information on the book:
Author's Note from Sandra DallasSeveral years ago, my daughter and I found a Civil War-era Friendship Quilt in an antiques shop in Denver. The names were wonderful, and I knew I wanted to use them in a novel. Not long afterward, while reading a quilt book, I came across "Alice's Tulips," the name of a quilt pattern, and thought it would make a terrific book title. I also knew I wanted to write a novel made up of letters. But I wasn't sure I could pull off a story about the Civil War. I am a westerner, and all my novels take place in my part of the country. Still, I spent the first five years of my life on a farm in Virginia, and as a girl, I read everything I could find on the Civil War. But more important, Alice's Tulips is not a book about war. It's not filled with battles and troop movements and politics. It's a story of women left behind during wartime.
Alice Keeler Bullock is the most difficult character I've created. The narrators of my other novels are constant. They deal with life's problems because they have inner strength, because they are true to themselves. Alice is different. You don't like her much at the beginning; I didn't like her much. But she grows; she grew on me. The challenge was to take this shallow young woman and make her into somebody readers would admire.
Incidentally, I quilt a little bit, although I'm not very good at it. But just as lousy cooks can be avid cookbook readers, I devour quilt books, and I wanted to incorporate some of that information into Alice's Tulips. I didn't want Alice to fall under the category of "quilt novel," however. In other words, Alice is not a novel about quilting; instead, it's a novel whose characters happen to be quilters. That's why I put the quilt lore into blurbs preceding each chapter.
Have you ever made a Civil War themed quilt or a friendship quilt? Inquiring minds want to know! Please answer in the comments section below. By doing so, you are also entering your name in a give-away for Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. The winner will be announced on June 1. (Remember that if you receive my posts via email, you must click through to my blog to be able to comment or see the comments of others.)
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.