I finished this last night and because of quilts being one of the central themes in the novel, I'm recommending it as a STRANGELY ENTERTAINING read. You can read my thoughts on the book at my book blog, My Eyes Have Seen the Coming of the Word. The top 3 posts discuss the book.
Zakes Mda teaches at Ohio University right in Athens and cleverly interweaves the history, quilting and otherwise, into the novel. Please let me know if you read it by leaving a comment at either blog or via email.