The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
397 pages, eBook Edition
Genre: General Fiction
“Reader to reader, knitter to knitter: You’re going to love this book.”—Debbie Macomber
For fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Sarah Addison Allen, The Wishing Thread is an enchanting novel about the bonds between sisters, the indelible pull of the past, and the transformational power of love.
The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.
When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?
I absolutely agree when Aubrey said, "Oh, I read all kinds of books... But I guess I like the soft kind the best. The ones that, when you close them, leave your heart feeling like your stomach if you just ate a big meal" when Vic asked her what kind of books she read. Another quote that resonated with me was what Mariah said to Aubrey regarding the Stitchery: "As long as the Stitchery is here ... whether you're all living inside it or in different parts of the world — the Stitchery will be your meeting point, your parachute, your home" because it reminded me of my maternal grandparent's house, the one place where everyone in the family (uncles, aunts, cousins, our future kids) gathers during Christmas, sharing a huge Christmas dinner followed by a huge gift exchange.
Another quote that had me thinking was from Mariah when she said to Aubrey, "Sometimes, it isn't about the answers. Sometimes it's about the questions — the questions are the answers."
I just love the foreshadowing done by the author when I came across the line, "This is the end of something, the Stitchery seemed to whisper." Does it mean the end of the Stitchery itself or does it pertain to Aubrey's relationship with Vic or both?
This line proved how kids can be so insightful and mature when Carson said to Meg, "Aunt Meg? Maybe this year you could be yourself for Halloween. Because that would be the best costume of all."
"And it wasn't long before the women of Tarrytown had divided themselves into two factions: those women who attended the Thursday-night knitting circles at the Van Ripper yarn shop — those who sometimes smiled to themselves in the crush of grocery stores and day care centers, as if they had a secret on their minds — and those who did not attend... And the Van Ripper yarn shop came to be looked at as a place of foment, because women sitting in close circles with their knitting and crocheting, talking and drinking wine, were capable of big, dangerous things."
"For as long as they lived — and for a long time after — it was said the Van Ripper sisters brought strange things into fruition wherever they went." And I definitely adore how the author ended the book this way.
This is the first book I've read from Lisa Van Allen which was highly recommended by Barb of the 2 Knit Lit Chicks podcast. I like the author's writing style. It feels very whimsical. I definitely enjoyed the simple plot and the easy read. I also like the characters especially Aubrey but what bothers me up to this time is the fact that somehow, I have trouble picturing a clear image of all the characters in the book. I have a vague sense of what they all look like but at the same time, I don't. It's really hard for me to explain. In conclusion, this book reminded me of the Hallmark Channel Movie The Good Witch series starring Catherine Bell and if you like that movie or books with a whimsical, magical realism to it, you will definitely enjoy this book.
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