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    Review of THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET by Debbie Macomber (see her website)

    MIRA, May 2004

    When she opens a yarn and knitting shop on Blossom Street, cancer survivor Lydia Hoffman doesn't know what to expect. She has enough money to run the shop for a while, but will she bring in customers? Or is she simply wasting her time and creating a burden on her mother, as her sister hints? It doesn't take too long before Lydia's beginning knitting class starts up with three very different women. Jacqueline Donovan is a wealthy snob, contemptuous of her daughter-in-law and angry with her husband for having an affair. Alix Townsend is planning on working off the community service time she earned for having drugs in her purse (they belonged to her roommate). Carol Girard is obsessed with having a baby--no matter what the financial, emotional, or ethical costs. Despite their differences and initial conflict, the four women forge a bond, gradually growing together.

    At first, the women seem to share only two things--their knitting and an unhealthy self-obsession. By working together, each becomes free to break out from their self-imposed boundaries and to see how their self-destructive behavior was a choice rather than something imposed on them from the outside.

    Author Debbie Macomber (see more reviews of novels by Macomber) specializes in strongly written stories of women coming together for support and growth. THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET is a strong entry into this category. Although all four women may initially put readers off, their growing strength as they finally face their problems and seize their power makes them sympathetic and even heroic. The love interests are possibly a bit too perfect, but this is a romance after all and who needs a romantic fantasy about a realistic male.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 6/02/04

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