I’m a knitter as well as a reader (though I don’t knit as fast or as much as I read), so I was delighted when novels and mysteries about knitting and knitting shops began appearing in my local library. Debbie Macomber’s The Shop on Blossom Street is a feel-good novel about four women in a knitting class: Lydia, the owner of the yarn shop and a cancer survivor; Carol, who is desperate to have a baby; Jacqueline, who is estranged from her husband and disdains her pregnant daughter-in-law; and Alix, an angry young woman doing community service time for a crime she didn’t commit. Each chapter focuses on a different woman in turn, as each deals with the challenges facing her and discovers happiness. I expected a close-knit (pun intended) friendship to develop between the four women, but while there was eventually some camaraderie, the women have less influence, severally and individually, on one another than I anticipated; characters outside the group affect each woman more deeply than they do each other. This makes the novel somewhat less cohesive and satisfying than it could have been. I enjoyed The Shop on Blossom Street well enough to read the next book in the series. However, I’d class this book as vacation reading: pleasant but not memorable.
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