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on 4 December 2015
Loved this book on my 3rd one.
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on 1 April 2011
I really love the Blossom Street books, which I have read in the wrong order but never mind!

I appreciate that they are not great works of literature, but sometimes I want an easy, comforting read, and Debbie Macomber always seems to come up with the goods. I know life doesn't usually work out the way it does in novels, but that's how they provide an escape from our everyday lives. I much prefer Debbie's style of writing to much of the chick lit that has sprung up in the UK over the past few years, which is often full of unfunny puns, amoral characters and too much detail (for me) about the heroine's shopping expeditions.

I don't find Debbie's characters too stereotypical, and I'm glad they all usually end up happier at the end of the story. I think Debbie does a great job of intertwining the various plot strands, and I enjoy reading about the knitting - which I can't do, but she has inspired me to learn!

There are enough bad things happening in the world; it's great to wallow in a bit of romance.

I have read interviews with Debbie and she seems to me to be a genuinely nice person. I know some people will say that does not make her a great writer, but IMO, with this genre, it definitely helps.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good romance and a happy ending.
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on 5 October 2009
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and the inclusion of a knitting pattern which I will work on just as soon as I can get a translation of the different knitting terms and needle guages. In fact I am in the process of buying the whole series of Debbie McComber books. I have all of the Blossom Street novels to date and am about the begin reading the Cedar Grove series. I can thoroughly recommend the five I have read so far.
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on 4 September 2012
I must say, I have heard a lot about Debbie Macomber and her novels but had never read any. Its not my usual genre. Someone gave me the first book of this series and I read it through in a couple of days, I then borrowed the next one in the series, I am now 4th book in! They are nice light tells, could be one of your neighbours. The novelist has a way of forming the character until you can see them in your minds eye and before long you think you know this person, even someone you might have ran into in real life. Remarkable story teller.

For anyone that hasn't read any of her books yet, I suggest you get one, you just won't be able to wait and will want to read the rest. I assure you.
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on 14 January 2011
Some of Debbie Macomber's books are a hit and some are a miss. For me, this was more of a hit because a) the storyline and characters aren't *too* contrived for once and b) the story is set in a knitting shop. As a beginner knitter (I finally succumbed to the lure of all the `knit-lit' I've been ingesting lately!) it was a really quick, easy read and I like the knitting pattern that comes with the story- not that this is one I'll be able to do straight away!

Granted it can be a bit predictable and twee in places and the writing isn't exactly spectacular, but if you cast that aside you are left with a fun, none too taxing story which nicely lines up the plot for the rest of the `Blossom Street' books of which I'm looking forward to reading soon.

The storyline opens with cancer survivor Lydia opening her new shop- a knitting store in Seattle's Blossom Street and her sister deriding her that she probably won't be too much of a success. As the story unfolds, Lydia is intent on setting up a `knitting group' to get more customers to her store and manages to do so with a group of women, each with their own back stories and problems who presumably might not have connected with one another otherwise. There's romance, marriage problems, baby troubles and the usual array of soap opera strife entangled up in this plot, but when it comes down to it the women are there for each other as this is ultimately a novel of friendship.

Aspects I didn't enjoy so much: some of the characters background stories were admittedly a bit stereotypical (the `trailer trash' Southern Belle and rich tart with a heart amongst others) and the conversations felt a little bit stilted in places which was a bit off-putting. Also, I felt that a bit too much emphasis was placed on `cancer survivor' Lydia and her repeated refusal to try and have any kind of love life despite her remission, so it grew a bit tiresome after a while. Also, as an atheist, the introduction of Christianity and it being a `saviour' to a troubled teenage girl felt a bit overly done in my opinion.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for a quick, fun read with characters you can really get to know then this first `Blossom Street' book might be a good place for you to start.

Recommended for chick-lit (and knit-lit) fans alike. A lovely cosy romance.
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on 12 August 2010
Although the story was fairly predictable and each of the characters conformed to a stereotype, I did enjoy this book. My mum's a fan of Debbie Macomber and has a dozen of her books on her bookcase, so I thought I'd better check out her work. This only took me a day and a half to plough through and, naturally, it didn't involve a lot of effort or intellect in order to get into the story. But sometimes you want an easy book to lose yourself in, something mindless that makes you smile. And that's exactly what this novel was. I'll probably read the next in the series when I'm next in need of some light escapism.
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on 12 October 2012
Debbie Macomber's "The Shop on Blossom Street" is, as I found out, the first of a series of books set in the same Seattle neighbourhood. There is a lot of information about it (and of course, about the author herself) on her website, if you're interested.
The book centers around "A Good Yarn", a knitting shop opened by a young woman who has just overcome not one, but two bouts of cancer, and to her, this shop means an affirmation of life. She proceeds to start a knitting class at her shop for beginners, the first project being a baby blanket. By doing this, not only does she bring together three very different women who would have never met otherwise, but between the four of them, they form lasting friendships, and chains of events are set in motion that change the lives of all of them.

Sounds familiar? Yes, with the set up of bringing together people unlikely to ever meet and for them to become friends with life-changing effects is pretty much what Frances Garrood's "Basic Theology for Fallen Women" is about, a book I wrote a review for, too, and which I enjoyed very much. But while Frances has a lot more humour in her book, the drama in "Blossom Street" is more... dramatic, I'd say. Like Frances, Debbie Macomber has divided her book neatly into chapters, each of them dealing with one character at a time, taking turns. But while all of Frances' chapters are written from the character's perspective without being in the 1st person singular, in "Blossom Street", the lady who opens the shop is a 1st person narrator, and the other characters aren't. Another obvious difference is that Frances is English and Debbie Macomber American, something that of course reflects in their writing style. In American English, people look out windows and walk out doors, while I'd say they look out of windows etc. Enough of the (uncalled for) comparison, and on to the book.

When we first meet each character, their lives are not looking very good. While they come from completely different walks of live, from the very poor to the very rich, none of them are truly happy. As events unfold and friendships are starting to form, things look better - until they get, for a while, almost worse than before. There is some suspense as to what will happen next; some of the goings-on weren't much of a surprise, but I definitely had not expected what happens in chapter 46. All ends well (I think it is safe to tell you that without spoiling the book for you), I am interested in reading the next one in the series.

All in all, I'd say the book is well edited, but every now and then, the use of tenses could be somewhat better. Here is an example:

"Dad's not here to help me anymore, and the sense of abandonment I experienced was overwhelming. I was furious with my father for dying. I'm so angry."

As mentioned above, this was a pleasant read; sometimes I found it difficult to relate to the behaviour of the characters, but we all know we don't always act in a way others (let alone ourselves) find logical. Recommended for anyone who likes to relax and be entertained by a book without too much of a challenge; it doesn't matter whether you are a knitter or not :-)
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2014
This is the first in a series of novels from the pen of Debbie Macomber. If you have ready any of her books before, you may well know what you are getting, a character rich and a community based novel.

Welcome to Blossom Street where Lydia has set up a wool/yarn shop and has invested everything in it. Lydia hopes this will bring everything she wants for her future, because having beaten cancer she knows how precious life is.

The shop A Good Yarn, brings Lydia into the community and customers that come to her door are suddenly all part of Lydia's life as well as each other.

Carol has invested everything in her future - to be a mother and she has the final chance with IVF. She goes to Lydia's shop because she wants to knit something for the baby.

Jacqueline has nothing but has everything, she has the frippery; clothes, hair and make up. But she does not have the love of her husband any more and she seems to be alienating her son because of his choice of wife and now they are going to have a baby. She goes to Lydia's shop because she wants to knit something for the baby.

Alix does have nothing. She has had a tough childhood and a past she does not want anyone to know about. Especially the locals and one particular man she has met. Her reason for going to Lydia's is because if she learns to knit it can count towards her community.

Put all these very different women together and you have knitted some interesting relationships, friendships and testing times for them all. It is amazing how so much can happen and how much all these women learn about love, life, themselves and each other.

If you are looking for comfort reads then anything by Debbie Macomber is going to hit the spot and this book was no exception. I look forward to the rest of the series.
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on 23 June 2008
I loved this book it was so hard to put down. Luckily i was on holiday so i had the chance to read it in a day. I had just finished reading another really good book and was worried this was going to be a come down but this outshone my last read by miles!!
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on 26 May 2011
This is a book about four women who attend a knitting class (well three attendees and one who owns the shop). If this premise had been properly explored the book might have been better but only the sketchiest knitting details were given and so it didn't hang together well with me at all. (It's a poor sort of class which only gets three attendees, I kept thinking whilst reading!)

Add to this the fact that each woman's life story was told clunkily and with a lot of cliches (as well as religious judgemental overtones and stereotypical characters, who you couldn't warm to because they were completely one dimensional) and it all makes for a poor and boring story. You could just guess that everything would come right in the end! When I heard that the author had written a sequel I literally shuddered with dread!

I read Fingersmith after this book (got them both from a charity shop in one go) and it is far, far better. So do yourself a favour and read that instead.
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