Back on Blossom Street (Blossom Street Series #5)

Back on Blossom Street (Blossom Street Series #5)

by Debbie Macomber

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778317968
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Series: Blossom Street Series , #5
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 95,760
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.63(h) x 0.94(d)

About 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


Port Orchard, Washington

Date of Birth:

October 22, 1948

Place of Birth:

Yakima, Washington


Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college

Read an Excerpt

I love A Good Yarn, and I'm grateful for every minute I spend in my shop on Blossom Street. I love looking at the skeins of yarn in all their colors and feeling the different textures. I love my knitting classes and the friends I've made here. I love studying the pattern books. I love gazing out my front window onto the energy and activity of downtown Seattle. In fact, I love everything about this life I've found, this world I've built.

Knitting was my salvation. That's something I've said often, I know, but it's simply the truth. Even now, after nearly ten years of living cancer-free, knitting dominates my life. Because of my yarn store, I've become part of a community of knitters and friends.

I'm also married now, to Brad Goetz. A Good Yarn was my first real chance at life and Brad was my first chance at love. Together, Brad and I are raising our nine-year-old son. I say Cody's our son, and he is, in all the ways that matter. I consider him as much my child as Brad's; I couldn't love Cody more if I'd given birth to him. It's true he has a mother, and I know Janice does care about him. But Brad's ex-wife is…well, I hesitate to say it, but selfish is the word that inevitably comes to mind. Janice appears intermittently in Cody's life, whenever the mood strikes her or she happens to find it convenient—despite the parenting plan she signed when she and Brad divorced. Sadly, she only sees her son once or twice a year. I can tell that the lack of communication bothers Cody. And Janice's cavalier attitude toward motherhood angers me, but like my son, I don't mention the hurt. Cody doesn't need me to defend or malign Janice; he's capable of forming his own opinions. For a kid, he's remarkably resilient and insightful.

On a February morning, my store with all its warmth and color was a cozy place to be. The timer on the microwave went off; I removed the boiling water and poured it into my teapot after dropping in a couple of tea bags. The rain was falling from brooding, gray skies as it often does in winter. I decided it was time to start another knitting class. I maintain several ongoing classes and charity knitting groups, and I usually begin a new session four or five times a year.

As I considered my new class, I was also thinking about my mother, who's adjusted to life in the assisted-living complex reasonably well. In some ways, I suspect that moving her was even more difficult for my sister, Margaret, and me than it was for Mom. Although Mom hated giving up her independence, she seemed relieved not to have the worry about the house and yard anymore. I wept the day the house was sold, and while she never allowed me to see her tears, I believe Margaret did, too. Selling the house meant letting go of our childhood and all the reminders of growing up there. It was the end of an era for us both, just as it was for our mother.

While I drank my tea, I flipped through the new patterns that had arrived the day before. The first one to catch my eye was a prayer shawl. Lately, I'd seen several patterns for these shawls, some more complex than others. I could easily envision knitting this one for Mom.

Prayer shawls have become popular in the last few years—and not only for prayer. They offer comfort and warmth, emotional, as well as physical. I'd received several inquiries about them and thought perhaps one of these shawls would make for an interesting class. I decided to discuss it with my sister, Margaret, who has a keen business sense and a good feel for which class I should offer next. I didn't appreciate that about her until after she'd come to join me at the shop. Margaret worked for me part-time, which has now turned into full-time. She's not as good with people as I am, but she knows yarn and, surprisingly, has become an excellent employee. She's also my friend. Not so long ago, I couldn't have said that; we might be sisters, but the tension between us was unbearable at times. Our relationship changed for the better, and I thank A Good Yarn for that.

Margaret wouldn't arrive for another thirty minutes, since the shop officially opened at ten. Any number of tasks awaited my attention, things I should be doing, like paying bills and ordering new yarn. Instead, I sat at my desk, with my teacup between my hands. I felt so incredibly blessed.

Needless to say, I didn't always feel this tranquil. When I was in my early twenties, a second bout of cancer struck with a viciousness that had me reeling. I survived, but my father didn't. You see, he fought so hard for me, and when it seemed I'd make it after all, he died, suddenly and unexpectedly, of a heart attack. It was almost as though my recovery meant he could leave me now.

Before I lost Dad, I tended to approach my life tentatively, afraid of happiness, fearing the future. It was a void that loomed hopelessly before me and filled me with dread. Dad was the one who gave me strength. With him gone, I knew I was responsible for my own life. I had a decision to make and I boldly chose…independence. I chose to become part of the world I'd retreated from years before.

The ceiling above me creaked and I knew Colette was up. Colette Blake rented the small apartment over the shop. For the first two years, that tiny apartment was my home, my very first home away from family.

After I married Brad, I wasn't quite sure what to do with the apartment. It stood empty for a while. Then I met Colette, and I'd known instantly that she'd be the perfect tenant. The apartment would console her, give her a place to regain her emotional balance. A bonus—for me—is that she looks after Whiskers on my days off. My cat is a much-loved feature in my store, which he considers his home. I've had customers stop by just to visit him. He often sleeps in the front window, curling up in the afternoon sun. Whiskers generates lots of comments—and smiles. Pets have a way of connecting people to life's uncomplicated joys.

Colette reminds me of myself three years ago, when I first opened the store. I met her shortly before Christmas, when Susannah Nelson, who owns the flower shop next door, brought her over to meet me. It wasn't cancer that shook her world, though. It was death. Colette is a thirty-one-year-old widow. Her husband, Derek, a Seattle policeman, died a little over a year ago. When I mention that, people usually assume Derek was killed in the line of duty. Not so. Following a Seattle downpour, he climbed on the roof to repair a leak. No one knows exactly how it happened but apparently Derek slipped and fell. He died two days later of massive head injuries.

In the weeks since she'd moved here, Colette had only referred to the accident once, as if even talking about her husband was difficult. I've learned that she's an easygoing person who laughs readily and yet at times her grief seemed palpable. Overwhelming. I understood how she felt. I remembered all too well that sense of anguish, that terror of what might happen tomorrow or the next day. Colette approached life fearfully, just the way I once did. I longed to reassure her, and I hoped my friendship provided some pleasure and solace. Friends like Jacqueline and Alix had done the same for me.

The apartment has an outside entrance, as well as the one leading into the store. Susannah Nelson had hired Colette soon after Susannah purchased what used to be known as Fanny's Floral. Colette's mother once owned a flower shop, and Colette had worked there as a high-school student. Her house sold practically the day it was listed, and Colette needed to move quickly. My tiny apartment was vacant, so we struck a deal. I assumed she wouldn't be there long. Most of her belongings were in storage and she was taking the next few months to decide where she'd live and what she'd do.

The stairs creaked as she ventured down. Since Colette became my tenant, we sometimes shared a pot of tea in the mornings. She was always respectful of my time and I enjoyed our leisurely chats.

"Tea's ready." I reached for a clean cup. Without asking, I filled it and held it out.

"Thanks." Colette smiled as she took the tea.

She was thin—too thin, really. Her clothes were a bit loose, but with her aptitude for style she cleverly disguised it. I noticed, though, as someone who's done the same thing. Part of what I liked about her was the fact that she was lovely without seeming consciously aware of it. Despite her occasional silences, Colette was warm and personable, and I could see she'd be a success at whatever she chose. She hadn't said much about the job she'd left, but I gathered it was a far more demanding position than helping customers in a flower shop.

This job change obviously had something to do with her husband's death. She told me he'd died a year ago January fourteenth. She'd waited for the year to pass before making major changes in her life—selling her home, moving, quitting her job. These changes seem drastic in some ways and completely understandable in others.

Colette wore her long, dark hair parted in the middle. It fell straight to her shoulders, where it curved under. She seemed to achieve this effect naturally—unlike some women, who spend hours taming their hair with gel and spray.

In the short time she'd been here, Colette had made a positive impression on everyone she met. Everyone except my sister. Margaret, being Margaret, shied away from Colette, instinctively distrusting her. My sister's like that; she tends to be a naysayer. She insisted that renting out the apartment had been a huge mistake. In Margaret's eyes, a tenant, any tenant, wasn't to be trusted. She appeared to think Colette would sneak into the shop in the middle of the night and steal every skein of yarn I owned, then hock them on the streets and use the money for drugs. I smiled whenever I thought about that, since not only did I trust Colette, I have a fairly expensive alarm system.

Margaret is, to put it mildly, protective of me. She's older and tends to assume more responsibility than is warranted. It's taken me a long time to understand my sister and even longer to appreciate her, but that's a different story.

Colette held the teacup close to her mouth and paused. "Derek would've turned thirty-three today," she said quietly. She stared into the distance, then looked back at me.

I nodded, encouraging her to talk. She'd only told me about Derek that one other time. I believed, based on my own experience, that the more she shared her pain, the less it would hurt. "Derek wanted children…. We'd been trying, but I didn't get pregnant and now…"

"I'm sure you'll have children one day," I told her. I was confident that she wouldn't be alone for the rest of her life, that she'd marry again and probably have children.

Her smiled was filled with sadness. "Derek and I talked about a baby that morning. The next thing I knew, I was choosing his casket. Ironic, isn't it?"

I didn't know how to comfort her, so I leaned over and gave her a hug.

She seemed a little embarrassed by my show of sympathy and focused her gaze on the floor. "I shouldn't have said anything. I didn't mean to start your day on a sad note. Actually, it wasn't until I glanced at the calendar on your desk that I realized the date."

"It's okay, Colette. I'm just so sorry."

"Thank you," she said, shrugging lightly. "Life is like that sometimes, you know?"

"Yes." And I did.

Colette set the empty cup in my sink.

The back door opened, then shut with a bang. Margaret, of course, muttering about the weather. After Colette moved in, Margaret had taken to parking in the alley, apparently to keep an eye on my tenant's comings and goings. After dumping her huge felted purse on the table, she hesitated, stiffening at the sight of Colette.

"Good morning," I said brightly, pleased to see her despite her bad mood. "It's a fine morning, isn't it?" I couldn't resist a touch of sarcasm.

"It's raining," she replied, eyeing Colette almost as if she were an intruder.

"Rainy weather's good for knitting," I reminded her.

For me, there was nothing more satisfying on a rainy afternoon than working on my current knitting project with a cup of tea by my side. People looked for something productive to do when it rained and—fortunately for me—that sometimes included knitting.

Margaret removed her coat and hung it on the peg by the back door. "Julia dropped me off this morning," she said in passing.

I caught the significance right away. "You let Julia drive the new car?" Only the day before, Margaret had said that her elder daughter, a high-school senior, had been asking to take the car out for a spin. If I recall, Margaret's exact words were Not in this lifetime.

Margaret's hot-from-the-showroom vehicle was a first for the family, since she and Matt had always purchased their cars secondhand. Margaret's previous car was well past repairing, and she was excited about buying a brand-new vehicle. They'd looked for weeks before deciding on one that was in high demand and said to get incredibly good mileage. Once the decision was made, they'd waited two months for the vehicle to arrive. Which it finally had in all its metallic-blue glory.

"I know, I know," Margaret grumbled. "I said I wasn't going to let her take the car, but I couldn't help myself. She has something going on after school and somehow managed to convince me that her entire scholastic future rested on driving my car." Her mouth twitched as she admitted how easily Julia had finessed her way past her mother's objections.

"I don't even have a hundred miles on that car," Margaret said. "That's how fast she broke down my defenses. Sad, isn't it?"

Colette laughed. "Kids can do that."

Margaret responded to the comment with a dismissive nod, barely acknowledging Colette.

Colette's eyes momentarily met mine. "I'll catch up with you later, Lydia," she said and headed back upstairs.

Margaret's gaze followed Colette. "You like her, don't you?"

"She's great." I wished my sister would give Colette a chance. Hoping the sympathy factor might work, I added, "Today's her dead husband's birthday. She'd started telling me about it when you arrived."

Margaret had the grace to look ashamed. "That's tough," she said, her own eyes returning to the stairs. The door had been left open and Whiskers wandered down.

"I know the rental income's a plus, but frankly I don't trust her," Margaret said.

I sighed; I'd heard this far too often and it still made no sense to me.

"Why not?" I asked defensively.

"Think about it," Margaret said. "Colette's obviously far more capable than she's letting on. Why is she working in a flower shop? She could get a job anywhere."

"She just lost her husband," I muttered.

"A year ago. Okay, that's tragic and I'm sorry, but it doesn't mean she has to go into hiding, does it?"

"She isn't hiding." I didn't know that for sure. But I argued with Margaret because I sincerely liked Colette; my sister was overreacting and it troubled me that she went through life seeing everyone as suspect.

What People are Saying About This

Catherine Witmer

"Macomber's latest is simply delightful. Alternating chapters between her characters- the connecting thread being Lydia's first-person musings- Macomber paints the tragicomedy of each woman's life with delicate but colorful strokes.
Summary- Lydia Goetz runs a successful store on Blossom Street, A Good Yarn, with her sister Margaret. Life isn't stress-free by any means - their mother isn't well, and Margaret's daughter is the victim of a carjacker. As Lydia begins a new knitting class, her friends are also cause for concern. Alix, a bake, feels that her upcoming wedding to minister Jordan Turner has snowballed out of her control. Colette, a young widow, is attracted to her ex-boss - even though she feels he's a criminal! Through it all, Lydia offers tea, sympathy and knitting tips, just what's needed."--(Catherine Witmer of the Romantic Times)


An Interview with Debbie Macomber

Barnes & We love this third book in the Blossom Street series. I gather that initially this wasn't intended to be a series -- what (or who) changed your mind? And do readers need to read these books in order?

Debbie Macomber: I'm so pleased you enjoyed Back on Blossom Street! I think it's my favorite of the series so far. You're right; When I wrote The Shop on Blossom Street it wasn't intended as the beginning of a series -- but then I received a multitude of comments from readers who told me they wanted more stories about the Blossom Street community and the yarn store. MIRA agreed and A Good Yarn came about. Now we're going back to Blossom Street yet again. This time we'll be visiting the flower store, Susannah's Garden, as well as Lydia's yarn shop. Every book is written to stand alone, so it isn't necessary to read the first two books of the series to enjoy this one.

B& Reading your books, I'm always struck by the power of multiple plotlines, and the richness that comes from having characters from different generations and different stages of love. Is it true that watching TV (like The Practice) shaped, at least partially, this direction?

DM: Thank you. I consider that a very nice compliment. The answer is yes. I see storytelling as my real skill, my gift, so there are generally any number of plots buzzing around in my head. I had done a few books with multiple plotlines but not to the extent of the Blossom Street or Cedar Cove books -- until I started analyzing successful television shows. Many of them leap from one storyline to another. Your example of The Practice is a good one; ER does the same thing. These days we all have seem to short attention spans anyway, and I guess you could say this approach keeps things hopping! As well, it allows me to relate characters and storylines to each other, to create interconnections -- just as we do in life.

B& How old were you when you started to knit? And what role has it played in your life?

DM: I was around 12. I wanted to knit but my mother didn't know how, so she took me down to the local yarn store and I sat with the ladies there and learned. The first item I ever knitted was a purple vest for my mother; in fact, she still had it when she died. I've been knitting off and on since that time. When our family was young, I didn't get much knitting done, but later, after the grandkids arrived -- well, there's no stopping me now! Actually I don't dare stop, considering all the yarn I've already collected.

B& What's coming up next?

DM: In September [2007], the seventh installment of the Cedar Cove series, 74 Seaside Avenue, will be out. (You can tell I love writing series!) And then in October, back by popular demand...drum roll, please...Where Angels Go, which is another story about my Christmas angels, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy. There are also a number of upcoming reprints, including Christmas Wishes in November (it's a paperback reissue of last year's Christmas Letters plus an earlier-refreshed (!) story called "Rainy Day Kisses." After that, there's a brand-new edition of Dakota Home, first published in 2000. It'll be available in December. And more to come in 2008!

Customer Reviews

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Back on Blossom Street (Blossom Street Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 182 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Those eagerly awaiting a return to Seattle's Blossom Street will be pleased with Macomber's sequel to The Shop On Blossom Street. Many remember that cancer survivor Lydia Goetz opened a shop, The Good Yarn, which soon housed a knitting class of four women who forged friendships and helped each other through life's rough spots. The same kind of caring and helpfulness are found in Back On Blossom Street. Those who enjoy a feel-good listen will find it here. For those who don't understand the healing properties knitting offers, Lydia explains it thusly, 'Knitting was my salvation. That's something I've said often, I know, but it's simply the truth. Even now, after nearly ten years of living cancer-free, knitting dominates my life. Because of my yarn store, I've become part of a community of knitters and friends.' She is now beginning a new knitting class and this time the work is on prayer shawls. Among the knitters are Colette Blake, a young widow employed at the new shop next door that offers flowers and floral arrangements. Colette had been romantically involved with her previous employer who is now frequently ordering flowers - all too much for her to process. Clicking needles right along side her is Susannah Nelson, the owner of the flower shop. Making a return visit is Alix Townsend, the daughter of ne'er-do-well parents who is now engaged to Rev. Jordan Turner. The wedding, which she had imagined as a small, meaningful occasion is quickly becoming a major social event. Now, just a few months before her walk down the aisle Alix is beginning to wonder whether or not she is cut out to be a minister's wife. Add to these worries Lydia's sister's daughter being the victim of a car jacking and Lydia's gradual awareness that her history of cancer may prevent her from ever having children of her own. However, according to the author's premise, there is healing in friendship and often a solution to one's problem is discovered in the words of another. 'Back on Blossom Street' is a warm, pour yourself a cup of tea listening experience, especially as read by Laural Merlington, a voice performer with some 30 years of experience who narrates with grace and good humor. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I .ove all of her books but am not a person to read a book twice i also look at the date the book was released as was glad to see it was a newly relised book then i began to read It found it to be one i did read before
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of the Blossom Street series and was excited when I got an email saying there was a new book in the series. I double checked the publish date before I bought it. I am enjoying rereading the book but was very disappointed to start reading it and finding out is a reprint. That makes it a total waste of money when already own it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On Blossom Street in Seattle Lydia Goetz and her sister Margaret own A Good Yarn where they sell knitting paraphernalia and provide class instructions. Renting the apartment above the store is thirty-one years old grieving widow Colette Blake, who has signed up to attend the prayer shawl knitting class and is confused by her desire for her employer Christian Dempsey. Family friend baker Alix Townsend feels overwhelmed by her upcoming out of control marriage to Reverend Jordan Turner because she fears her reprobate DNA is not suited for the life of a pastor's wife. Margaret¿s daughter is a carjacking victim. Finally, Lydia feels incomplete as a woman as cancer has pretty much wiped out her chance to ever give birth. Over knitting, these friends and family find comfort one stitch at a time.---------------- Fans of the Seattle series will appreciate the latest traumas, tragedies, and joys as the knitting clan come together to help one another overcome adversity and share in rejoicing. The story line is more a series of vignettes as focus rotates between the well developed ensemble cast. Debbie Macomber shows her skill with each key player being unique. Although similar in tone to the previous A GOOD YARN tales and that of the Cedar Cove saga (does anyone bring alive the picturesque northwest better than Ms. Macomber does?), readers will enjoy the ups, downs, and ups of this knitting crew.------------ Harriet Klausner
Me55 More than 1 year ago
The sample of this book was only 32 pages and all of the preview was the table of contents and knitting instructions and pattern. No part of the story was in the preview.
jenameyers More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of modern fiction. I also like the classics, especially Brit Lit. When it comes to sitting outside in the shade on a warm spring day and reading something for relaxation, this fills the bill perfectly. There are times when a fairly predictable story with easily likable characters and a plot where no one gets blown up, participates in espionage, suffers as a tortured soul, is just the thing. As a character in Mary Kay Andrews The Fixer Upper said, "empty literary calories". Debbie Macomber books are like the Little Debbie Snack Cakes of my reading life. I love them and I feel a little embarrassed about it. The good news? They don't make you fat.
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Tell me tess
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Debbie Macomber has come through again with this wonderful new Blossom Street novel. Her books are ones that are hard to put down once you start reading.
candymakerSS More than 1 year ago
Like her other Blossom Street stories, this is a heart warming story. It shows how people can get together not knowing each other but, become good friends through knitting classes.Also makes you realize that whatever problems you may encounter can be solved by friends helping each other.
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taxdeva More than 1 year ago
just as interesting and exciting as the rest of the series
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bravewarrior More than 1 year ago
CD Abridged/Women's fiction: This novel is book 3 of the Blossom Street series. I listened to two others. There is usually no mystery and just narrative....and everyone lives HEA. This one is no exception. There are the usual three women in novel who are figuring out like. While I liked it okay, I did have problems with Collette. Spoiler: while she is pregnant with boss's baby after a one night stand, she becomes a doormat. After leaving her place of employment and him because she thinks he's smuggling Chinese immigrants. Well, this is a Macomber novel and you know he's innocent. However, she doesn't and continues to pine over the guy. She is a doormat! For that, it gets three stars.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Debbie macomber is a great authir she is really good at tying this book together there is romance there mystery ssuspence and more i love this book!!!!!!!! I hope you lile it to .