The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Mira; April 27, 2003
My Rating: 5/5
Hello Friends! I finished The Shop on Blossom Street and as expected, Debbie Macomber had my emotions completely heightened and all over the place. I checked the audio version of this book out from my library via Overdrive and the last two chapters had me crying so hard while driving that I had to pull over and get myself together.
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.
In this book we meet Lydia who lives in Seattle and at the beginning of the book opens a yarn store called The Good Yarn. She posts a sign in the window announcing a knitting class for beginners on Friday of the following week. It is through this knitting class that we are introduced to Jacqueline, Carol and Alix.
Each of these women have their own crap going on. Lydia is a two time brain cancer survivor who has recently lost her father from a heart attack, has a mother who is sick and a sister who she has never been close to. Her sister always felt like Lydia bought her illness on for attention and just really resents her. Because of the fear of her cancer coming back, Lydia has the tendency to push people away–she doesn’t have any girlfriends and chooses to not become romantically involved.
Jacqueline Donovan has been living in a loveless marriage for the past ten years. Her and her husband have been sleeping in separate rooms and she knows about his Tuesday night meetings with a supposed blonde. Their son has recently married a young woman named Tammy from Louisiana that Jacqueline doesn’t approve of and she shortly learns that she will soon be a Grandmother.
Carol Girard is a married woman who has been trying the past few years to get pregnant. She has seen numerous doctors and is on her last shot with a fertilization treatment. She and her husband have also tried the adoption route which consistently results in closed doors. She is desperate to become a Mother.
Alix Townsend is the youngest of the group. She signs up for the knitting class to knit blankets for a children’s organization as part of her court ordered community service. Alix hasn’t had the easiest life. Her mother shot her father. She used drugs for a while but has been clean for a few years and is working at a movie store to make ends meet.
Debbie Macomber blows my mind with her ability to create such realistic women with real world problems and find a way for them to build a friendship. Each of these ladies signed up for Lydia’s knitting class for their own agenda not expecting to gain a friendship from it. It was rocky at first–Jacqueline and Alix bumped heads initially with Jacqueline being a rich society type and Alix being the complete opposite–but Macomber creates everyday situations that show how easily and powerful it can be when one woman has another woman’s back.
I like how we follow each character and I genuinely invested in each of their stories! Sometimes when reading from multiple perspectives, certain storylines can outshine the others but I never tired from any of these character’s stories. They each equally broke my heart before piecing it back together again. With Lydia I loved seeing her growth having overcome a life threatening illness. It was nice to see her put herself out there, be vulnerable and allow someone in. Her love interest is Brad who she meets because he is the UPS delivery guy who delivers to her store–and I loved how after a few times of Lydia turning him away and confessing why.. he pretty much tells her, “I make my own decisions,” and I think that’s such a powerful thing! Lydia felt that pushing people away protected not only herself but him too and I adored how Brad wanted to be by her side regardless. I can’t even begin to explain how happy I was that Jacqueline and her husband Reese rekindled their love for each other after so many years of just existing together. Carol’s story was so heartbreaking! I can’t imagine what it must be like to want to be a mother and it just not physically be possible for you. One thing Carol has to learn is what all of this is emotionally doing to her husband. He reaches a point where he doesn’t want to experience another let down again. And Alix..I feel like although Lydia was the main character, Alix is the glue that kept everything together. I loved her. She was street smart, held her own but underneath the tough girl was a sweetheart who I think really wanted to be around more of a positive crowd but had that worry of not fitting in. She really comes through for one of the other ladies and it was such a beautiful thing that she did, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
Needless to say Friends, I am so happy I read this book. Each woman had their own relationship that showcased a different version of love that I can’t get off my mind after having finished reading it hours ago. I think what is going to stick with me the most though is the friendship that blossomed between Lydia, Jacqueline, Carol and Alix. I can’t wait to continue on with this series!