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The Wishing Thread

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  3,874 ratings  ·  566 reviews
For fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Sarah Addison Allen, The Wishing Thread is an enchanting novel about the bonds between sisters, the indelible pull of the past, and the transformational power of love.
The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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 ·  3,874 ratings  ·  566 reviews

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May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

The wishing Thread a novel by Lisa Van Allen is and interesting read and tells the story of the Van Ripper Women who have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York for many years. Aubrey, Bitty and Meggie are three sisters who after the death of their aunt meet up again at their childhood home a place called the Stitchery. These ladies when asked a can knit a little magic into folks lives and are somewhat feared and yet held in awe in their small community.

Each chapter is headed by a knitt
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

The Wishing Thread isn't simply, as I expected when I started it, a book about knitting or about magic. It's about the ways we are knit together: as family, as lovers, as community. It's about the past and the present, traditions and beliefs, hope and despair all inextricably woven together to create the fabric of our stories, both individual and collective. And it's about our choices, and what we make of them.

This isn't a fantasy book. If anyt
Lisa Higgins
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, LOVED this book. In fact, it's the best book I've read all year.

The Wishing Thread is about three unusual sisters who are reunited after their grandmother dies unexpectedly. One of the sisters lives in The Stitchery, an ancient knit-and-yarn shop that is an icon of a rundown, seedy section of Tarrytown. This Stitchery is the kind of place the residents speak of only in soft voices, because everyone knows the sisters can knit powerful spells into the sweaters and scarves they give t
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
There is, of course, always a question - a question of the difference between what is real and what is true. A thing can be true without being real. You may not grasp this entirely, but don't worry. This is the nature of faith, of magic, of a good life's work.

This was a sweet, easy-reading book about knitting spells and the relationship between sisters. For me it was also about accepting your own destiny, and the different ways people try and avoid doing this. The story started strong, but unrav
Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
From the moment I read the synopsis for The Wishing Thread, I thought of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic (One of my all time favorite reads and Book to Movie adaptations) and Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells (Another of my all time favorite reads) and I knew that I had to read this one. I can’t say that it quite lived up to my expectations, but it came darn close! And they were very high expectations.

The setting of Tarrytown, NY (right next door to Sleepy Hollow) was drawn so absolutely perfe
Claire Robinson
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ahhhh I love a good yarn (pun intended), and when this book was likened to the writing of one of my favorite authors Sarah Addison Allen on Netgalley, I knew I had to request a copy.

The Wishing Thread focuses on the lives of the Van Ripper women who reside in Tarrytown, NY. They are accused of being all sorts of things but mostly Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie have a skill for knitting bespoke items that include the hopes, dreams and wishes of the people they are being produced for into the threads o
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
When you read a lot, it often becomes difficult to find much of anything that truly feels original, especially when it comes to categories as frequently abused as magical realism. This book is different and that made me happy.

The characters are definitely worth reading the book for. Sisters, they share some similarities, but they are also very different. I thought this author did a supreme job of highlighting those differences and making the women in this book work off of one another well.

Blodeuedd Finland
Something was not quite right. Sometimes I blame it on ebooks. And it might be the problem that I had this time. I never felt connected to the characters, or the book itself. Sometimes ebooks just loose the magic that books hold for me. Because the book itself was good, just not for me this time.

The magic, was there magic at all? I like magical realism cos the magic is just embedded in the story. It feels normal or real. Here I never even knew if there was any magic at all and there it lost the
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book you just wanted to crawl into the pages and the story, and live there? That is how I felt about The Wishing Thread. If I could magically transport my life into this book, I would.

It's a family tradition for my brother and I to love the story of the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow. We know the Disney cartoon by heart, the songs, the dialogue, even the lines from the cartoon shorts that come before it on the DVD. I loved the Johnny Depp movie version, and I am excited
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books-i-own
I am a huge fan of Sarah Addison Allen. When I read the synopsis for The Wishing Thread and it stated that it would appeal to fans of hers, I knew I had to read this book.

The Wishing Thread, by Lisa Van Allen, is magical story about the Van Ripper Family. The matriarch, Aunt Mariah, has recently died, and her three nieces have been reunited at her funeral after being estranged for some time. They discover that their Aunt has left her yarn shop, The Stitchery, to all of them, and now they must de
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5. I read this book because the setting of Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow is very familiar to me. By making the setting a character in the story, each small inaccuracy adds up to a problem for me. That is my problem, but in light of the author's note extolling her research and love for the place, it was an issue for me.
Generally the story lines were a meh. The happy ending full of milquetoast. The book was surely out of my wheelhouse. I should go back to my favorite meaty authors.

A note to authors of
Book Review & Giveaway: I love novels about the power that women have, real or fantasy, so when I saw The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen I knew I wanted to read it. It also didn’t hurt that it takes place in Tarrytown, NY, which is well known for its ties to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

This is a novel about family, the family history that binds us and the family currently around us – both of which help to shape who we are. It’s also a story about the extended family living where we live and h
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. This book never really came together for me, I almost wall banged it several times. The central conflict wasn't really explored and way too much time was spent with banal dialog that didn't advance the story. When it came to the totally predictable sacrifice about 2/3 of the way in, I just rolled my eyes. I didn't see this as a study of sister relationships either. There wasn't as much magic in the story as the synopsis lead me to believe. There are better books to read, and too l ...more
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this - it was imaginative and fun and sweet and very well-written. I look forward to reading more from her. It did remind me a lot of Sarah Addison Allen, who I love - but in a different and unique way. If you like her books, highly recommended.
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Different, but too unbelievable ànd fantastic for my tastes. A little neat in the end as well. I rather prefer a book that surprises me.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t want this book to end!! Xx

I enjoyed this book because of the knitting. If I were not a knitter I don't think I would have loved it as much as I did. I think the audience for this book is a fairly narrow one because of that.

However, I also I loved the writing (beautiful and atmospheric) and the characters. The romance was too much for me (as usual).

Also, the knitting is very good. A+ descriptions of knitting.
Reminded me very much of Practical Magic. I loved the cozy Fall in Sleepy Hollow, NY setting and the everyday magic.
Zoe Brooks
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: magic-realism
This book is women's fiction with a touch of magic. This type of fiction isn't my normal choice, but as part of my magic realism challenge I try to read widely and it often pays off, as with this book. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't particularly challenging in subject matter or technically, but it is a good story told well. Just when I thought I knew where the story was heading, there was a unexpected twist towards the end.

Is the magic in this story real? Is it coincidence? Is it wishful thinki
The Wishing Thread is a lovely surprise! It follows the story of the Van Ripper sisters, and their late aunt's yarn shop "The Stitchery". What makes the knitting element really interesting is: the Van Rippers are able to knit magic spells into the objects they make.

The Stitchery is not just a regular yarn shop: it's also a place where townsfolk can come, and - in exchange for a sacrifice they determine, something they feel is very meaningful to themselves - ask for a spell. Sometimes the spells
The Van Ripper sisters have just inherited The Stitchery, their family-owned yarn & knit shop. It also happens to be the place that women go when they have a wish. Rumor has it that the Van Ripper women are witches and can put answers to those wishes in the things they knit. Aubrey is the chosen, she's the one who her sisters thought would get The Stitchery but Mariah surprises the sisters by giving the shop/home to all three of the sisters. The problem is that the The Stitchery is soon to be to ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Wishing Thread is a mix of women’s fiction and romance with touches of magical realism. The characters capture the reader’s interest and affections, and the story teases the reader with the question of what is real and what is magic.

From the Great Book in the Hall: There is, of course, always a question—a question of the difference between what is real and what is true. A thing can be true without being real. You may not grasp this entirely, but don’t worry. This is the nature of faith, of m
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I love magical realism. This was a cute book about a magical family trying to save their town. Having grown up in Westchester County I am familiar with Tarrytown and the legends that go along with it. Knitting plays a large part and I have to admit, I don't knit. This book made me wonder if I could.. and there's family issues, love and honor, traditons and duty. A bit fluffier than the magical realism books I've read but it was enjoyable.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wishing Thread is an interesting book. I must admit I had trouble getting into this story at first. It did not hold my interest. There was something about it that I just didn't like so I put it down and walked away. I'm glad I picked it up again.

The Van Ripper sisters from Tarrytown, New York are together for the first time in several years. The woman who raised them, their Aunt Mariah, has died and they have gathered to remember her and make decisions about their family business, the Stitc
Jenny Lynn
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy in exchange for a review!

Okay, I have no idea why I waited so long to read this one. I've had it on my kindle app for weeks and weeks because the cover was so evocative and the plot sounded interesting but I just kept getting distracted by other books which weren't nearly as good as this one (some of the books I was distracted by were very good, but most of the ones I've read haven't been). I'm kicking myself for t
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a different kind of book than I normally read. Part of the appeal was the knitting theme since my boyfriend is an avid knitter and the best birthday present he ever gave me was teaching me how to knit. It felt like I was reading a Hallmark movie, especially towards the end. That's not a complaint. The book feels like nostalgia. Like walking into a yarn shop. Like cold mornings and warm sweaters. It is a book about magic that you're never really sure if it's real, or if it's only real in ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club-books
I liked it but I didn't love it. It was a slow trudge at the beginning. Once things got moving I enjoyed it more but the end was anticlimactic in the worst way. I was really into the yarn bombing on devil's night and then the plot seemed to lose cohesion and petered out. I would have loved to hear more about the previous guardians and the legend about how things got started. I also think the magic was lacking, it either needed to be more subtle or more intrusive. As it stands it occupies an unev ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This is exactly the kind of book I usually love, and I’m struggling to understand why I didn’t.
Premise is wonderful. Writing was very descriptive, I felt like I was in Tarrytown and the Stitchery. It just never really came together. The magical realism was never explored as well as it could have been - show me more irate or happy customers, cmon. If it’s more powerful than Aubrey thought - we never got to see it.
The main conflict was resolved so anticlimactically. It was so dragged out and the
Katie Fitzgerald
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting magical realism family story about a trio of sisters whose knitting can bring about magical results. I liked the world-building in this book, especially the way the author used the Tarrytown setting and the way she built history and religion into her explanation of the way the magic works. This book is the perfect read-alike for Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-fun-fiction
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 25, 2015 07:16AM  
2017 Reading Chal...: The Wishing Thread 1 14 Jan 07, 2015 08:56PM  
Bookworm Bitches : May 2014: The Wishing Thread 4 92 May 28, 2014 05:37PM  
Book Giveaways: Win The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen! 1 6 Oct 17, 2013 10:24AM  
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