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Monday, April 16, 2007

The Shop of Blossom Street

by Debbie Macomber
I have read several reviews of Macomber's books and they were always positive, so I bookmooched the first in The Knitting Books series. I'm sure that I would not have picked this book off the shelves - knitting?! no mystery? It's not the type of book that calls out to me, but I was game to give it a try.

I thought it was wonderful. It's an engrossing read of 4 disparate women who join a beginning knitting class. Lydia, the owner of A Good Yarn is the teacher. She has survived 2 bouts with cancer and is taking the first steps to reclaim her life. Alix has black hair with purple spikes and some dreams that seem impossible to attain. Jacqueline's son is married to a woman that jars on her nerves and is carrying her grandchild. Carol is in her late 30's and is hoping desperately that the last attempt at in vitro fertilization will be successful.

At first I thought the whole book would take place during the knitting lessons, but that's not the case. The chapters rotate between each woman, focusing on their lives away from the shop. I came to care about each character and was sad or happy with them. It was nice to see the friendship that grew over time and how they helped each other. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, A Good Yarn, which I've already mooched.

The chapters about Lydia, the shop owner, start with a quote about knitting. Even though I don't knit I have been involved over the years in various crafty pursuits, such as crocheting, tole painting, quilting, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, doll making, etc. So the truth of this quote resounded with me. "If you can count the number of projects you have going, you need to begin another, so you have a varied range of complexity, from the very simple 'mindless' ones to those that demand undivided attention." -Laura Early, lifetime knitter

I did some research on the author and discovered that she is a prolific writer. A list of all her series and books can be found at her website. I've already mooched the first book in her Cedar Cove series because I thought the title idea was so clever: The address in the title tells the order of the series, i.e. 16 Lighthouse Road starts with a 1, 204 Rosewood Lane starts with a 2, etc. Isn't that smart! She also has a couple of series that sound western in nature. I may be able to read one of those for my western category for my library's summer reading program - that's always a tough genre for me.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I wandered in here via dovegreyreader's book blog and just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading your reviews. We have very similar tastes (I loved The Shop on Blossom Street and The Book Thief) and I am also a grandma (in the UK) and enjoy reading to my 6 year old grand-daughter. My own book blog is on Live Journal so I have bookmarked yours to visit on a regular basis.

'Cath'

SuziQoregon said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I really liked both of the Blossom Street books and I have also read and enjoyed the Cedar Cove Series.

booklogged said...

Cath, thanks for the visit and the comment. Do you have a blog I can visit?

SuziQ, I was trying to remember where I had heard about these books. When I saw your comment I realized it was on your blog. Thank-you!

Framed said...

I read this book quite a while ago and had forgotten it. I liked it too.

Lynne said...

I love Debbie Macomber. You're right - all of her books are positive. Nice light reading. The only book of hers that I wasn't thrilled with was SUSANNAH'S GARDEN, but it was still pretty good. There's a new Blossom Street book coming out soon, and the next Cedar Cove book is due out in September.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do have a book blog you can visit. It's here:

http://read-warbler.livejournal.com/

I saw on your profile that you like The Little Country by Charles De Lint. I read this one at the beginning of January and loved it. It's set in a village I know very well and even in the street where my uncle lived. It was very odd to read that!

I also am doing a Chunkster Challenge by the way.

Cath (again)

Amanda said...

Oh it makes me so happy that you liked this book! I love the Blossom Street series and I love the Cedar Cove series even more. Her newest one comes out this summer!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

I love these books too, and am always glad to read other people's opinions of them. I like reading Macomber when I want something light and easy to read, where she has some decent characters and a good outcome for them. I love the Blossom Street books and I'm about half way through the Cedar Cove books. I think she has a lot of older books, some better than others, that are maybe not as well written as her more recent work. But, I still like this author and these books, nonetheless :)

Great review!

Lover of Books said...

I love that series and am waiting to read the third. :)

Lotus Reads said...

I have heard plenty good things about this book, booklogged and I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the review!

The Traveller said...

I'm generally quite fond of books that follow different characters each chapter - they always remind me to think about how things are peceived by other people. Sounds like a good read!

hellomelissa said...

so it won't make me a better knitter, huh? i'm simply miserable at knitting anything other than squares.

Carrie K said...

Oh, I might have to stop resisting reading this book. I knit, I read, therefore everyone I know has been bugging me to read this book. It's not really my normal read, but then it's always nice to stretch (or relax) a bit.

Nancy said...

I picked up THe Shop at Blossom Street at the library. Not sure if I would like it or not. I loved it, as well.

I will have to check out her other books.

I liked your review.