Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street Series: The Shop on Blossom Street, A Good Yarn, Back on Blossom Street, Twenty Wishes and now Summer on Blossom Street is one of my most favorite series of all time. I love it and Summer on Blossom Street once again fulfilled all my expectations with another beautifully written, heart tugging story.
When I read the first novel in the series, I fell in love with the main character Lydia. She’s a two-time cancer survivor and determined as ever to fulfill her dreams for her life. One of those things is to own her own yarn shop which she does and calls it A Good Yarn. Then she decides to start a knitting class to promote the shop and make new friends. Several people over the years have joined in the knitting classes and made friends with Lydia and each other. Some of my favorites have been Alix, who at one time was a street kid; Elise, an elderly lady who is very independent and very likeable. I also have been warmed by Anne Marie’s story and the adoption of her daughter Ellen. These novels are filled with wonderful friendships between women and lots of knitting talk. What could be better. Being a knitter myself these stories always set me off on a knitting spree. In one of these stories, Lydia holds a knitting class for prayer shawls and it was after that I started on mine. That I still have failed to finish it is another story.
In this story, Lydia hosts a Knit to Quit class. This class if for people looking to quit something or maybe even someone. Debbie Macomber has even introduced a man which was a pleasant surprise. He fit right into the story and quickly became a favorite character of mine. His name is Bryan ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson and he joins because he is stressed to the max. He is running his father’s business after he had passed away and is dealing with a lawsuit. His blood pressure is off the charts and he’s been warned he needs to remedy that and in a hurry. His doctor suggests knitting so Hutch is giving it a shot and to his surprise liking the class for more reasons than the knitting.
We are also introduced to Phoebe who is another really likeable character. She has broken off an engagement to a jerk but unfortunately a jerk she still loves. She hates going home to her empty apartment with only her cat for company so she enrolls in the knitting class to forget her ex-fiance. This is easier said than done as he isn’t one to take rejection well and has no intentions of giving up easily. This class is a huge turning point in her life and ends up surprising her in many ways.
Again, Alix is back and that made me really happy. I’ve always really liked her character from the very beginning and to see her growth over the years has been wonderful. She and Jordan are still happily married and starting to think of having a family. Hold up though~big problem there. Alix is still smoking. She started after all the pressures of getting her wedding organized and has just kept on. Now she’s more than a little stressed over the prospect of becoming a mom. Having grown up in the foster care system, she wonders if she’ll even make a good mother at all.
Back again is Anne Marie and Ellen. Another pair I love dearly along with their Yorkie Baxter who loves his daily walk and stopping at The Good Yarn to glare at Whiskers, Lydia’s shop cat. This time we find Anne Marie and Ellen adjusting to life together very well. Ellen is happier than ever and so is Anne Marie. That is until a handsome stranger shows up at Anne Marie’s bookstore asking questions Anne Marie would rather not answer.
Finally, what would a Blossom Street novel be without Lydia’s story. Lydia, Brad and Cody (Lydia’s stepson) are all doing well and are happy. Lydia’s shop is doing well and she and Margaret (her sister) are taking care of their mother who is in an assisted living complex. Lydia and Brad want a baby though and must adopt; Lydia is unable to have children after her chemo treatments. One night, the social worker they are working with calls them up and asks them to take in twelve-year-old Casey~just for a few days. Casey is angry and defiant. Hey, she’s a kid who’s been shuffled around more times than she can count. She knows nothing lasts forever already. Or does it?
As with all the other Blossom Street books I enjoyed this one immensely. So much so that I read it in only a day and a half. It was a struggle because I was flying through the pages and yet wanting to slow down so the story wouldn’t end as fast. I had a chuckle when I started the novel though. I had excitedly picked it up and started reading it the second it came in the mail and before I knew it I looked down and saw that I had already blown through 100 pages. In true Debbie Macomber style, she had me so completely enthralled in the story that I just couldn’t put it down. For me, Debbie’s stories really touch my heart, giving me happy tears and sometimes sad ones. I find myself smiling through many parts of the story. Most of all I feel that Lydia and all the characters that come and go in these stories have a piece of my heart. I hope there will be many more Blossom Street books to come. This story will never get old for me because I’ve just become too attached to the people living within the pages.
Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber releases May 1, 2009 and you can pre-order it here in the US and here in Canada. Oh, and be sure to visit Debbie Macomber’s webiste here. It really is a fantastically run website with lots of goodies to explore. If you’re a fan of the series already you won’t be disappointed. This is another great journey into Lydia’s life and that of her friends, new and old. Again, it has made me want to dig out my knitting and make something or even just finish one of the many, many projects I have on the go. As with all the books there is a pattern included. This time for a Cable Sampler Scarf and since I have more than enough piles of extra yarn I think I may choose one of the patterns and make myself a scarf.
I’d like to end on this quote from the back cover of the book(from an ARC copy, published copy may be different) just because I like it so much…
- ‘Knitting and life. They’re both about beginnings — and endings.’