Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Book review: Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber

They say there is nothing new under the sun...but did you know Debbie Macomber has written a series of novels set in a knitting store?

Knowing I knit *quite* a bit, the publisher sent me a review copy of her latest title, Blossom Street Brides.

The press release describes it as "a story of three very different women whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. Three very different women meet in the yarn shop A Good Yarn, and as they knit together they find strength through each other to help them with their problems. Meanwhile baskets of knitting are found all across the city with the label ‘KNIT ME’ – when each scarf is finished it must be brought to A Good Yarn and it will be given to homeless shelters. But who has begun this wonderful scheme? It is a beautiful story of love, family and friendship."

But what did *I* think?

I was intrigued by the idea of baskets of knitting left lying around, I wonder if it'd work in real life? That was my favourite part of the book and I soon sussed the culprit.

I enjoyed reading light-hearted fiction, particularly as my days at the moment are all about packing boxes to move house, but for me there were too many sub-plots about each character - and not enough knitting! I would have enjoyed reading more about the group knitting in the shop but maybe that's just me. I know there are similar knitting groups in the UK, but I've never attended one (do let me know if you have, it sounds fun!). I think there are a few cultural issues too, this is very much an American book: for instance, I didn't need to read about the character's visits to church, the spiritual references distracted me rather than adding to the story.

I was planning to pass it on to my elderly aunt, she's a big fan of romantic novels, but I know she won't like the American setting and "feel". I'm used to chatting with Americans daily on online forums, but even I was taken aback that a potential husband was "background checked" by the father of the bride. Do ordinary people (ie not film stars!) actually do that sort of thing? Perhaps it's my age (!) but I don't think it occurred to my father some 37 years ago!

Having said that, I did still enjoy reading the book and thought at the time it would make a good afternoon TV movie - only to find on Debbie's website that several of her books have indeed been filmed.

Whether it's your type of book or not, I'd love to hear from you if you have ever come across pay-it-forward knitting.

Debbie's website will be of interest if you're a knitter, check out her free patterns and her own newly finished projects.

Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber, published by Arrow, at £5.99

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