Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Knitting Diaries

4 out of 5

I was very pleased with these three short stories. If you like Debbie Macomber, you will like the first story, The Twenty- First Wish in this collection, The Knitting Diaries. Even more than that, you will have possibly discovered two new writers, at least they were new to me, in the process. The first story by Debbie brings back one of the characters from Blossom Street, Ann Marie Roche, the owner of the bookstore, who adopted a young foster child after she become a widow, only to learned that the child's biological father wanted back in his daughter's life. Their lives are picked back up from the last Blossom Street book, as Ann Marie has just bought a new home since their little apartment over the bookstore was simply not big enough for her and Ellen and their little dog, Baxter.

As always there are some good moral lessons here as well as a some laughs, smiles, and good feelings.

The second story, Coming Unraveled takes you to Texas and another yarn store owned by a lovely grandmother. It is the story of her granddaughter, Robyn, returning home after several years from pursuing an acting career in New York. Robyn, is thrilled to see everything as she left it except for one thing. There is a man, T. J., in the shop's knitting group. Someone who looks terribly out of place and does not seem to like Robyn at all. He is even maybe a little hostile. As this story unfolds, it becomes obvious that both Robyn and T. J. are not being honest with each other, their friends at the knit shop or themselves. The depth of friendship and loyalty in this story was quite moving and kept the story moving.

This is the first thing that I have read by Susan Mallery so I had no point of reference but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't think it was just because of the yarn connection that I was taken with the story but rather the way she handled how people hide behind their pain and block out the very people that can ease that pain.

The last story, Return to Summer Island,by Christina Skye, I think, resonated with me the most, because of the animal connection rather than the yarn connection. As with Ms. Mallery, I had not read anything else by Ms. Skye, so I had not reference to her style or theme of writing.

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