Series: Blossom Street #1
Published by Harlequin MIRA on April 26th 2005
Source: the library
Bestselling romance author and ardent knitter Debbie Macomber combines both her skills in this novel about a newly opened Seattle yarn shop and the knitting class that brings four women together to make baby blankets. The owner of the shop and her three students produce more than blankets, knitting together bonds of solidarity, friendship, love, hope, and renewal. The book even includes the pattern for the blanket, which was created by premier knitting designer Ann Norling.
When Lydia Hoffman, a cancer survivor and owner of A Good Yarn, starts a knitting class for her patrons, she forms a special friendship and bond with three extraordinary women—Jacqueline, Carol, and Alix—and together they share laughter, heartbreak, and dreams.
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.