Top critical review
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A sweet, satisfying story but don't expect anything amazing!
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.