The Great Christmas Knit-Off
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
In the tradition of Trisha Ashley and Jenny Colgan, this first book in a new series by Alexandra Brown—author of the popular Cupcakes at Carrington’s series—tells the hilarious, heartwarming story of a jilted bride who anticipates a lonely Christmas but instead finds herself in the tiny village of Tindledale, where the residents share her obsession with knitting.
When life unravels, it’s time to knit…
Sybil has always taken comfort in her passion for knitting, creating beautiful knits stitch by stitch. But her world suddenly unravels when her fiancé ditches her for her identical twin sister at her Star Wars-themed wedding, leaving her sporting a Princess Leia do. Then things go from bad to worse when an incident at work jeopardizes her job.
Hoping to escape her woes and forget that she’ll be alone for Christmas this year, she visits her friend in Tindledale—a winter wonderland of quaint shops and snowy rooftops. When she arrives in the idyllic town, she can’t help feeling like she’s in a Hallmark greeting card. She’s embraced by welcoming—if eccentric—locals wearing handmade knits that remind Sybil of her own creations as well as her unrealized ambitions of selling them. So when the vintage boutique asks her to make an assortment of knits for their display window, she’s thrilled. The hot town doctor has even taken an interest in Sybil, hoping to heal her broken heart.
But just when Sybil thinks she’s going to have her fairytale Christmas after all, an unexpected turn of events threatens to unspool her happily ever after.
a read in one sitting book, and I’m now adding others by this author to my shelf
Another entrant in the holiday pile, The Great Christmas Knit Off from Alexandra Brown is a read full of heart, humor and some wonderfully detailed knitted jumpers. While I’m not a huge knitter, although I can manage basic things, this fueled my desire for a warm and wooly moment of my own.
Sybil is a wonderfully warm character, handed some tough moments but having the ability to move forward, despite them. She’s had a relationship fall apart, and she just may have been responsible for a major mistake at work. Thinking retreat is the better option, she packs her knitting, dog and a small suitcase and boards the train for the village of Tindledale, the perfect small-town escape. One of the early entries in the book is a map of the village proper, and with evocative names and place markers, the village becomes a secondary character at the outset.
While on the train, Sybil encounters several Tindledale natives, all cleverly introduced with that feeling of long acquaintance, as in many small villages. Tindledale is the iconic small village: the residents are not internet savvy, mobile service is spotty at best, and everyone is aware of, if not overtly involved in the daily lives of friends and neighbors. A warm and welcoming place, perfect for a regroup.
Brown quickly brings us to the nurturing sense of the village as Sybil, on an exploratory walk about the village meets Hettie, elderly proprietress of the Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, a shop dedicated to the art of needlework, particularly knitting. With Sybil’s obsession with knitting, the two have an instant rapport, but Hettie brings something more, a purpose and project for Sybil. Throughout the story, the characters offer friendship, advice and even some manipulations to bring a new outlook to Sybil, giving her a respite from the troubles she ran from.
Paced with care, the story builds slowly with tremendous care, you can see the village, understand the people and even feel as if the jumpers and other knitted items are completing before your eyes. There is little not to like in this book, with a gradual romance starting to build for Sybil, her finding her footing in something she is never unsure about (her knitting) starts to build her confidence in other aspects of her life.
Gradual development of characters giving them depth and breadth, settings that ring out to be visited and friendships that show every reader the potential of openness, honesty and true caring made this a read in one sitting book, and I’m now adding others by this author to my shelf.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.