Lydia Hoffman’s shop, A Good Yarn, is bustling, so it seems like the perfect time to start a new knitting class. Three women, each with her own problems, sign up in hopes of learning to knit a pair of socks. Elise, long single, struggles after her ex drops back into her life. Still reeling after a recent divorce, Bethanne can’t seem to figure out how to pull her life together. And Courtney, who recently moved in with her grandmother to complete her senior year of high school, just wants to fit in. Though they might be hesitant at first, as the stitches pile up, they each find comfort and stability among both the yarn and their new friends.
Author Debbie Macomber returns to Blossom Street for the second book in the series, though it works entirely as a standalone. Like the original, this one focuses on yarn and the four women in high times of vulnerability that it knits together. Macomber is an expert of balancing stories—a testament to her tight writing and breezy dialogue. And with chapters that alternate viewpoints, she’s able to tease the story along, pushing each throughline forward without wrapping anything up too quickly.
It helps that she’s fashioned fully-realized, compelling predicaments which help drive her characters. Elise, a woman who has spent most of her adult life independently, is forced to move in with her daughter after a bad real estate investment—and then her ex-husband shows up. Bethanne has just gone through her own divorce and has to contend with a total loss of confidence that stems from her inability to juggle her new independent responsibilities. Both are incredibly likable, though they’re similarly stuck in their ways, and Macomber subtlety draws comparisons within their stories.
While the other two women, Courtney and Lydia, have equally strong problems, their conclusions are a bit more complicated. Courtney lost her mother four years previously, and she’s struggling with depression and, in her opinion, a weight problem. There’s an uncomfortable emphasis on her weight being equalized to her worth—and, as such, almost the sole reason her depression—a fact backed up by the reactions from those around her. And then Lydia, who plans on marrying her boyfriend, Brad, suddenly receives the bombshell that he’d like to reconcile with his ex. The setup is genuinely frustrating and it often seems as though Lydia is on the cusp of a solidly destructive moment, but she’s severely tested by her powers of forgiveness.
The Macomber charm is strong on Blossom Street. Quaint shops. High drama. Irresistible romance. It ticks all the boxes. That’s why it’s so easy to get lost in the world of these four knitters.
Title: A Good Yarn
Series: Blossom Street #2
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: May 01, 2005
Publication Date: Mira Books
Classification: Women’s Fiction