Nikki's Reviews > The Shop on Blossom Street

The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

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bookshelves: fiction, not-so-trashy-trashy-novels, books-set-in-washington
Read in January, 2012

Sometimes, after reading a long historical novel fraught with disasters or a dark detective tale -- never mind the news of the day -- you just need a light and enjoyable story. In just such a mood I picked up The Shop on Blossom Street, the first of Macomber's series about a Seattle yarn shop. Since my daughters are knitters, my most recent (far too long ago) trip to Seattle included stops in quite a few yarn shops, so I was familiar with this milieu. (I don't knit, but I like to look at all the colors.)

What I enjoy about Macomber's books, of which I've read two or three a year for the past few years, is that she always injects a healthy dose of reality into the romance. In this case, her 30-ish protagonist is a two-time cancer survivor who has recently lost her father. Her life has been on hold for far too much of the time since her first diagnosis at age 16, and she takes a giant leap in opening a yarn shop in a transitional urban neighborhood. To get things going, she offers a knitting class on making a baby blanket. The three women who sign up all have different reasons for wanting to make one. One is a young married woman with fertility problems, desperate for a baby; one is a society matron whose only son's "unsuitable" wife has just announced her pregnancy; and one is a street-smart, prickly video store clerk who will donate the blanket to the Linus Project as part of her court-mandated community service hours. The ways these women interact, the friendship they find, and how they help solve each other's problems in surprising ways make for a quite enjoyable read. Yes, they find romance too, but it seems that the community of women is the main focus of the book. The Seattle setting is evocative without being a travelogue. I'll probably pick up the next in the series the next time I need a break. Recommended for people who like this kind of book.

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