Debbie Macomber's book are my go-to books for light, fluffy reading. I turned to these books over a year ago when I wanted escapist fiction with mostly happy endings mixed with romance.
The series starts with The Shop on Blossom Street. Lydia opens a yarn shop, a lifetime goal after surviving cancer - twice. Little does she expect to find friends among her customers. Each of the characters that attend Lydia's first knitting class are almost predictable in their characterizations. There is the hard-edge, streetwise girl that is doing probation, the infertile woman who wants a baby, the retiree, etc. That alone put me off reading the others in the series for a long time, though to be fair this first book was more successful than other books with a similar concept. Despite the shortcomings of the first story, it was worth going back to Blossom Street to read the rest. The first book came out at the same time that knitting and yarn shops were surging in popularity. Debbie Macomber later came out with a companion series of knitting patterns inspired by the series.
Each story in the series shifts to different characters that are connected to Blossom Street. This is a great way to build a series so that readers do not get bored by reading about the same characters every time. Instead, the reader gets updates on characters from the first book in later books, and occasionally they return as major characters in a new story. My favorite books in the series are Susannah's garden and Twenty Wishes for various reasons. Twenty Wishes was almost inspiring in how the women achieved lifetime goals by writing down their wishes. Their individual journeys was written well. My least favorite story is A Turn in the Road. In this story the major character tries to choose which of two men she should date - her ex-husband or a biker she meets on a road trip. The debate turns annoying when every other paragraph the character can't make up her mind, yet again. This story is a revisit of a character from an earlier book, in which the woman goes through a devastating divorce only to discover a hidden talent and self-worth. A Turn in the Road makes her appear very weak and stupid, which is a disappointment after her recently discovered self.
Debbie Macomber is still adding to this series. There are two more books I haven't read and will review later. I also want to tackle the Cedar Cove series, which is being made in a Hallmark TV series.
Series Ratings: 4 stars, skip A Turn in the Road
The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.