By: Debbie Macomber
Blossom Street Series Book 1
At 395 pages, The Shop on Blossom Street may look long, especially for a beach read, but don’t worry.
I read it in less than 48 hours. (And it’s not even that good!)
This is a novel focused on the womanly companionship of knitting. The entire time I was reading it, I couldn’t get The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs out of my head. The books are eerily similar!
A handful of mismatched women who all come together in the main character’s yarn shop to learn to knit, who meet every Friday, who are in various stages of their lives, who are in various economic classes, who find themselves in the midst of a lesson on self-sufficiency, who must deal with cancer and difficult children and life changes, who begin to dig a little deeper into each others’ emotions, who encourage each other in the men department, who are focused on children and family.
The Shop on Blossom Street, however, has a unique focus on pregnancy. There are THREE characters who are pregnant during the course of this novel. It’s actually kind of creepy how obsessive the topic becomes.
For instance, one of the characters, Carol, is “desperate” to conceive. She goes through several rounds of IVF, both of which fail, and the story picks up with her about to go to her third round. Which is fine, to each his own, but there are multiple comments about how this is their last hope because adoption will never work. I think this is the passage that particularly bugged me out:
[Adoption] was a familiar subject and with so few infants available, they knew their chances weren’t good.
According to this little factoid from PBS, “In 2001, there were 1.5 million adopted children in the United States, representing 2.5 percent of all U.S. children.”
1.5 MILLION. ADOPTED.
I’m not trying to trivialize the adoption process or say it’s super easy or cheap or anything of the sort. But don’t tell me there aren’t any babies out there awaiting adoption. And it wasn’t just that particular line. It was the whole attitude of the book.
Oh, and then there’s the awkward way this book deals with serious issues. The main character, Lydia, has suffered what she calls “two bouts of cancer” in her past. But it’s handled very clumsily, at times flippantly and at times obsessively. And God is just kind of tossed in there when it’s convenient as well. I don’t know. Just kind of weird.
All in all, though, I enjoyed it.
It was a mindless read, a beach read.
If you enjoyed The Shop on Blossom Street, here are some suggestions:
(for knitting themes)
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo
(for more by Macomber)
A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Susannah’s Garden by Debbie Macomber
Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Free to Choose by Milton & Rose Friedman
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver