Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street Series #1)

The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street Series #1)

3.9 630
by Debbie Macomber

See All Formats & Editions

There's a little yarn store in Seattle.

It's owned by Lydia Hoffman, and it represents her dream of a new life free from cancer. A life that offers a chance at love…

Lydia teaches knitting to beginners, and the first class is "How to Make a Baby Blanket." Three women join. Jacqueline Donovan wants to knit something for her grandchild as a gesture


There's a little yarn store in Seattle.

It's owned by Lydia Hoffman, and it represents her dream of a new life free from cancer. A life that offers a chance at love…

Lydia teaches knitting to beginners, and the first class is "How to Make a Baby Blanket." Three women join. Jacqueline Donovan wants to knit something for her grandchild as a gesture of reconciliation with her daughter-in-law. Carol Girard feels that the baby blanket is a message of hope as she makes a final attempt to conceive. And Alix Townsend is knitting her blanket for a court-ordered community service project.

These four very different women, brought together by an age-old craft, make unexpected discoveries—about themselves and each other. Discoveries that lead to friendship and more…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A Seattle knitting store brings together four very different women in this earnest tale about friendship and love. Lydia Hoffman, a two-time cancer survivor, opens the shop A Good Yarn as a symbol of the new life she plans to lead. She starts a weekly knitting class, hoping to improve business and make friends in the area. The initial class project is a baby blanket, and Macomber (Changing Habits), a knitter herself who offers tips about the craft and pithy observations from knitting professionals throughout the novel, includes the knitting pattern at the start of the book. Well-heeled Jacqueline Donovan, who chooses to ignore her empty marriage, disguises her disdain for her pregnant daughter-in-law by knitting a baby blanket. Carol Girard joins the group as an affirmation of her hopes to finally have a successful in vitro pregnancy. Alix Townsend, a high school dropout with an absentee father and a mother incarcerated for forging checks, uses the class to satisfy a court-ordered community service sentence for a drug-possession conviction for which her roommate is really responsible. Unfortunately, Macomber doesn't get much below the surface of her characters, and, although they all have interesting back stories, the arc of each individual happy ending is too predictable. The only surprise involves Alix's hapless, overweight roommate, Laurel, and even this smacks of plot-driven manipulation. Macomber is an adept storyteller overall, however, and many will be entertained by this well-paced story about four women finding happiness and fulfillment through their growing friendships. Agent, Irene Goodman. (May) Forecast: The religious overtones of Macomber's novel may throw some readers, but the author should attract her usual sizeable readership and pick up some fans of Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts series. Author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Macomber is an adept storyteller.... Many will be entertained by this well-paced story about four women finding happiness and fulfillment through their growing friendship." -Publishers Weekly

"Four women brought together by their interest in knitting makes for an interesting read by bestselling novelist Debbie Macomber. . . . The Shop on Blossom Street shows the author's understanding of the heart of a woman." -The Sunday Oklahoman

"Macomber is a master storyteller; any one of these characters could have been a stereotype in less talented hands. Instead, these women and their stories are completely absorbing." -RT Book Reviews

"Debbie Macomber tells women's stories in a way no one else does." -BookPage

Product Details

Publication date:
Blossom Street Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


The first time I saw the empty store on Blossom Street I thought of my father. It reminded me so much of the bicycle shop he had when I was a kid. Even the large display windows, shaded by a colorful striped awning, were the same. Outside my dad's shop, there were flower boxes full of red blossoms—impatiens—that spilled over beneath the large windows. That was Mom's contribution: impatiens in the spring and summer, chrysanthemums in the fall and shiny green mistletoe at Christmas. I plan to have flowers, too.

Dad's business grew steadily and he moved into increasingly larger premises, but I always loved his first store best.

I must have astounded the rental agent who was showing me the property. She'd barely unlocked the front door when I announced, "I'll take it."

She turned to face me, her expression blank as if she wasn't sure she'd heard me correctly. "Wouldn't you like to see the place? You do realize there's a small apartment above the shop that comes with it, don't you?"

"Yes, you mentioned that earlier." The apartment worked perfectly for me. My cat, Whiskers, and I were in need of a home.

"You would like to see the place before you sign the papers, wouldn't you?" she persisted.

I smiled and nodded. But it wasn't really necessary; instinctively I knew this was the ideal location for my yarn shop. And for me.

The one drawback was that this Seattle neighborhood was undergoing extensive renovations and, because of the construction mess, Blossom Street was closed at one end, with only local traffic allowed. The brick building across the street, which had once been a three-story bank, was being transformed into highend condos. Several other buildings, including an old warehouse, were also in the process of becoming condos. The architect had somehow managed to maintain the traditional feel of the original places, and that delighted me. Construction would continue for months, but it did mean that my rent was reasonable, at least for now.

I knew the first six months would be difficult. They are for any small business. The constant construction might create more obstacles than there otherwise would have been; nevertheless, I loved the space. It was everything I wanted.

Early Friday morning, a week after viewing the property, I signed my name, Lydia Hoffman, to the two-year lease. I was handed the keys and a copy of the rental agreement. I moved into my new home that very day, as excited as I can remember being about anything. I felt as if I was just starting my life and in more ways than I care to count, I actually was.

I opened A Good Yarn on the last Tuesday in April. I felt a sense of pride and anticipation as I stood in the middle of my store, surveying the colors that surrounded me. I could only imagine what my sister would say when she learned I'd gone through with this. I hadn't asked her advice because I already knew what Margaret's response would be. She isn't—to put it mildly—the encouraging type.

I'd found a carpenter who'd built some cubicles for me, three rows of them, painted a pristine white. Most of the yarn had arrived on Friday and I'd spent the weekend sorting it by weight and color and arranging it neatly in the cubicles. I'd bought a secondhand cash register, refinished the counter and set up racks of knitting supplies. I was ready for business.

This should have been a happy moment for me but instead, I found myself struggling to hold back tears. Dad would've been so pleased if he could have seen what I'd done. He'd been my support and my source of strength, my guiding light. I was so shocked when he died.

You see, I'd always assumed I would die before my father.

Most people find talk of death unsettling, but I've lived with the threat of it for so long, it doesn't have that effect on me. The possibility of death has been my reality for the last fourteen years, and I'm as comfortable talking about it as I am the weather.

My first bout with cancer came the summer I turned sixteen. I'd gone to pick up my driver's license that day in August. I'd successfully passed both the written and the driving tests. My mother let me drive from the licensing office to the optometrist. It was supposed to be a routine appointment—I was having my eyes examined before the start of my junior year of high school. I had big plans for the day. As soon as I got home from the eye doctor's, Becky and I were going to drive to the beach. It would be the first time I'd taken the car out by myself, and I was looking forward to driving without my mom or dad or my older sister.

I recall being upset that Mom had scheduled the eye appointment right after my driving test. I'd been having some problems with headaches and dizzy spells, and Dad thought I might need reading glasses. The idea of showing up at Lincoln High School wearing glasses bothered me. A lot. I was hoping Mom and Dad would agree to let me wear contact lenses. As it turned out, impaired vision was the least of my worries.

The optometrist, who was a friend of my parents, seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time staring into the corner of my eye with this horribly bright light. He asked a lot of questions about my headaches. That was almost fifteen years ago, but I don't think I'll ever forget the look on his face as he talked to my mother. He was so serious, so somber…so concerned.

"I want to make Lydia an appointment at the University of Washington. Immediately."

My mother and I were both stunned. "All right," my mother said, glancing from me to Dr. Reid and back again. "Is there a problem?"

He nodded. "I don't like what I'm seeing. I think it would be best if Dr. Wilson had a look."

Well, Dr. Wilson did more than look. He drilled into my skull and removed a malignant brain tumor. I say those words glibly now, but it wasn't a quick or simple procedure. It meant weeks in the hospital and blinding, debilitating headaches. After the surgery, I went through chemotherapy, followed by a series of radiation treatments. There were days when even the dimmest of lights caused such pain it was all I could do not to scream in agony. Days when I measured each breath, struggling to hold on to life because, try as I might, I could feel it slipping away. Still, there were many mornings I woke up and wished I would die because I couldn't bear another hour of this. Without my father I'm convinced I would have.

My head was completely shaved and then, once my hair started to grow back, it fell out again. I missed my entire junior year and when I was finally able to return to high school, nothing was the same. Everyone looked at me differently. I didn't attend the Junior-Senior prom because no one asked me. Some girlfriends suggested I tag along with them, but out of false pride I refused. In retrospect it seems a trivial thing to worry about. I wish I'd gone.

The saddest part of this story is that just when I was beginning to believe I could have a normal life—just when I believed all those drugs, all that suffering had served a useful purpose—the tumor grew back.

I'll never forget the day Dr. Wilson told us the cancer had returned. But it's not the expression on his face that I remember. It's the pain in my father's eyes. He, above anyone, understood what I'd endured during the first bout of treatment. My mother doesn't deal well with illness, and Dad was the one who'd held me together emotionally. He knew there was nothing he could do, nothing he could say, that would lessen this second ordeal for me. I was twenty-four at the time and still in college, trying to accumulate enough credits to graduate. I never did get that degree.

I've survived both bouts of cancer, and I'm definitely not the carefree girl I once was. I appreciate and treasure every single day because I know how precious life is. Most people assume I'm younger than thirty but they seem to find me more serious than other women my age. My experience with cancer means I don't take anything, least of all life itself, for granted. I no longer greet each day with careless acceptance.

But I've learned there are compensations for my suffering. I know I'd be a completely different person if not for the cancer. My dad claimed I achieved a certain calm wisdom, and I suppose I have. Yet in many ways I'm naive, especially when it comes to men and relationships.

Of all the compensations, the one I'm most grateful for is that while undergoing treatment I learned to knit.

I may have survived cancer twice, but unfortunately my father didn't. My second tumor killed him. That's what my sister Margaret believes. She's never actually said so, but I know it's what she thinks. The truth is, I suspect she's probably right. It was a heart attack, but he aged so much after that second diagnosis I'm sure it affected his health. I knew that if he could've switched places with me, he would have done it gladly.

He was at my bedside as much as possible. That, in particular, is what Margaret can't seem to forgive or forget—the time and devotion Dad gave me throughout this ordeal. Mom, too, as much as she was emotionally able.

Margaret was married and a mother of two before the second tumor was even discovered. Nevertheless, she seems to assume that she's somehow been cheated because of my cancer. To this day, she acts as if being sick was my choice, an option I preferred over a normal life.

It goes without saying that my sister and I have a strained relationship. For Mom's sake, especially now that Dad's gone, I try my best with Margaret. She doesn't make it easy. She can't hide her resentment, no matter how many years it's been.

Margaret was against my opening a yarn shop, but I sincerely doubt she would've encouraged me in any undertaking. I swear, her eyes brightened at the prospect of seeing me fail. According to the statistics, most new businesses do go under—usually within a year—but I still felt I had to give the yarn shop a chance.

I had the funds. The money was actually an inheritance I received from my maternal grandmother who died when I was twelve. Dad invested it wisely and I had a small nest egg. I should have probably saved it for what Mom calls a "rainy day," but it's been raining every day since I turned sixteen and I was tired of holding on to it. Deep down, I know Dad would approve.

As I said, I learned to knit while undergoing chemotherapy. Over the years I've become an accomplished knitter. Dad always joked that I had enough yarn to open my own store; recently I decided he was right.

I love to knit. There's a comfort to it that I can't entirely explain. The repetition of weaving the yarn around a needle and then forming a stitch creates a sense of purpose, of achievement, of progress. When your entire world is unraveling, you tend to crave order, and I found it in knitting. In fact, I've even read that knitting can lower stress more effectively than meditation. And I guess for me it was a better approach, because there was something tangible to show for it. Maybe because knitting gave me a sense of action, of doing something. I didn't know what tomorrow held, but with a pair of needles in my hands and a ball of yarn in my lap, I was confident I could handle whatever lay ahead. Each stitch was an accomplishment. Some days all I could manage was a single row, but I had the satisfaction of that one small achievement. It made a difference to me. A very big difference.

Over the years I've taught a number of people how to knit. My first students were other cancer patients going through chemotherapy. We met at the Seattle Oncology Center, and before long, I had everyone, men included, knitting cotton washcloths. I think every doctor and nurse in that clinic has enough knit washcloths to last a lifetime! After washcloths, I had my band of beginning knitters move on to a small afghan. Certainly I've had some failures but far more successes. My patience was rewarded when others found the same serenity I did in knitting.

Now I have my own shop and I think the best way to get customers in the door is to offer knitting classes. I'd never sell enough yarn to stay in business if I ran classes in washcloths, so I've chosen a simple baby blanket to start with. The pattern's by one of my favorite designers, Ann Norling, and uses the basic knit and purl stitches.

I don't know what to expect of my new venture, but I'm hopeful. Hope to a person with cancer—or to a person who's had cancer—is more potent than any drug. We live on it, live for it. It's addictive to those of us who've learned to take one day at a time.

I was making a sign advertising my beginners' class when the bell above the door chimed. My first customer had just walked in and I looked up with a smile on my face. The pounding excitement in my heart quickly died when I realized it was Margaret.

"Hi," I said, doing my best to sound happy to see her. I didn't want my sister showing up on my very first morning and attacking my confidence.

"Mom told me you'd decided to go ahead with this idea of yours."

I didn't respond.

Frowning, Margaret continued. "I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop by and see the shop."

I gestured with one arm and hated myself for asking. "What do you think?" I didn't bother to mention that Blossom Street was decidedly out of her way.

"Why'd you name it A Good Yarn?"

I'd gone over dozens of shop names, some too cute by half, some plain and ordinary. I love the idea that "spinning a yarn" means telling a story, and sharing stories with people, listening to their experiences, is important to me. Another legacy of the clinic, I suppose. A Good Yarn seems like a warm and welcoming name. But I didn't explain all that to Margaret. "I wanted my customers to know I sell quality yarn."

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Brief Biography

Port Orchard, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1948
Place of Birth:
Yakima, Washington
Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 630 reviews.
Ric6 More than 1 year ago
This was my weekly free book on my Nook a couple of weeks ago. It looked interesting but I wasn't familiar with the author but since it was free I downloaded it. After I started reading it I couldn't put it down. There are four main characters in the book and every chapter switches to a different character's perspective. Sometimes the chapter will end leaving you hanging and I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter from that characters perspective to see how it finished out. Even though I am not a knitter it was easy to relate to these women because they are all going through events in their lives that could happen to anyone. I am a 23 year old female and this book was right up my alley!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I downloaded this book to my ebook collection on my nook because it was offered for free. I have never read any books by this author, so I thought I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. It was easy to relate to the different characters and the book never really dragged along in any place. I really liked how all the characters ended up with a special bond in the end, but each had their own unique story. This book really kept me interested and made me want to read more. Apparently this book is the first of a series by this author. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
4teacher More than 1 year ago
This book has such a warm, charming feeling throughout. What a wonderful writing style to get the readers wrapped up in the characters and keeping the reader turning the pages, dying to see how each main character unfolds her life. It is wonderful to see how each woman gets to the Good Yarn store and the effect it has on her. Every reader can relate to the variety of knitters introduced in this book and how their lives become more enriched because of their new found friendships.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Macomber book and I'm definately interested in reading more. I loved how different the characters were and how their lives all came together through adversity and a happy ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was such a refreshing book. I am always amazed at how I can become so involved with Macomber's characters. The story focuses on the lives of 4 women who are COMPLETELY different but their lives become involved together. Wonderful!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a fast, enjoyable and easy read. The author has a great way of describing the characters and I highly recommend this book. It was a free ebook (not a book I would have purchased) - but I am certainly going to now purchase more books by this author. CL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like happy endings. So, sometimes I give the more intense literature and non-fiction a rest and pick up a light read. This is a cute story that is very touching. It would be good for say a vacation or summer book. I have the e-book version but went to buy a paperback for my mother (who doesn't have a reader). I know she'll enjoy it.
Char47 More than 1 year ago
A friend recommended the Blossom series and I am so glad she did. I started with this book, the first in the series. The characters were fun, just very "normal" everyday people. It was hard to put this book down. I couldn't wait to start the next book in the series, "A Good Yarn".
knit-hexe More than 1 year ago
This has to be my most treasured book in my library. I have read and re-read it over 5 times. It is such a feel good book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book and storyline was well written and flowed together well. It was a nice, sweet, typical read but I did enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I have read about 10 of Debbie Macomber's books and I have not been disappointed yet. I love the characters and how their problems overlap and intertwine. A great read!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Debbie Macomber book I read. You really feel like you get to know the characters in this book. It's a book with a happy ending(don't we all that?)I enjoyed this book so much, I decided to read other books by Macomber!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I adore Debbie Macomber. I have read plenty by her and truly found this book amazing!! The characters and their lives will keep you captivated. I didn't put it down until I was finished. It was sweet and totally enjoying!! I can't wait to read 'A Good Yarn'. This book is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I was hesitant about reading this book. I enjoy reading murder mystery novels. But this book was something different. I decided to read it because I used to love to Knit and I haven't done it in a long time, and I was hoping to get back into it again. This book will help you with that, but it would also help you to believe in romance, hope and friendship. If you have lost any hope....after reading this book you get the hope back and much more.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
This is my second book in the Blossom Street series and I found it difficult to put down. Three women join the proprietor of a new yarn shop in Seattle for weekly knitting lessons. Each of the four have issues that they may not be aware will affect the group. As they spend more time together, lives are changed by the interactions of the group members. Sweet romance is a given. I'm on to the next book in the series!
artAS More than 1 year ago
thoroughly enjoyable read. a comfort read for sure, cant wait to start the 2nd one, "a good yarn"
Mary Kelnhofer More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that i have read by this author and I am hooked! Cant wait to start the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good clean book - a story without loose ends. But, caution: It begins similar to another book and I was ready to archive it and then realized I had just purchased it a couple of weeks ago. I am so glad I continued reading it. The story starts out with a lady who has gone through two bouts of brain cancer and yet has survived. The first surgery was when she was 16 and to keep herself busy she started knitting. Now, as a grown woman she decided to try opening a knitting shop. Once opened, she advertised knitting classes. From then on the story (mostly) revolves around the owner and the three ladies who signed up for the beginners class. The three could not be more different and there was a lot of anger and snipping until something major happened which changed everything. I recommend this book and was so happy that the author 'wove' all the details together together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know exactly how Carol is feeling about babies cycles appointments everything she is feeling. It iis so heartbreaking. In the end you either end up with that precious child you both want so much.. None of these feelings apply to anyone who has had a baby and just wants another. You dont understand what its like. Or you can end up completly broken and alone with no way to fix it. That is what happened to me I lost yhe man I loved . No one told us what to expect. Iit was hard. I will always love you..But its to late all gone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy read, very nice book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
The way that Macomber tells this story in the first person really makes you feel like you’re hearing a story from a friend rather than reading a book.  She unequivocally invites you into her world.  She brings life’s highs and lows together in a way that warms your heart.   I learned a great deal about yarn and knitting throughout.  It was built right into the story, intrinsic to the lives of the characters.  I was astounded by the way this was so seamlessly worked into the tale.  It definitely added extra depth to the tale for me.  Macomber not only made it interesting, but she also made me want to give it a try.   This novel is full of lifelike characters that make their way into your heart.  They’re the type of people that once you meet them, you won’t ever forget them.  I enjoyed how Macomber showed the four different characters’ perspectives.  The intertwining stories alongside each other were amazing.  I will admit that there were a couple that I disliked at the beginning, but throughout the novel they grew on me.   This novel was a fantastic start to Macombers Blossom Street series.  She drew me into this world and I can’t wait to go back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago