A Good Yarn (Blossom Street Series #2)

A Good Yarn (Blossom Street Series #2)

by Debbie Macomber

Paperback(Original)

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Overview

A place of welcome and warmth, of friends old and new. Watch three women discover how knitting can change their lives!

Lydia Hoffman owns a knitting shop on Seattle's Blossom Street. In the year since it opened, A Good Yarn has thrived—and so has Lydia. A lot of that is due to Brad Goetz. But when Brad's ex-wife reappears, Lydia is suddenly afraid to trust her newfound happiness.

Three women join Lydia's newest class. Elise Beaumont, retired and bitterly divorced, learns that her onetime husband is reentering her life. Bethanne Hamlin is facing the fallout from a much more recent divorce. And Courtney Pulanski is a depressed and overweight teenager, whose grandmother's idea of helping her is to drag her to seniors' swim sessions— and to the knitting class at A Good Yarn.

"[And] soon an unbreakable bond is formed among the knitters in this poignant story of real women with real problems becoming real friends." —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778316237
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Series: Blossom Street Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 114,837
Product dimensions: 5.28(w) x 8.25(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 www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Hometown:

Port Orchard, Washington

Date of Birth:

October 22, 1948

Place of Birth:

Yakima, Washington

Education:

Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college

Read an Excerpt

LYDIA HOFFMAN

Knitting saved my life. It saw me through two lengthy bouts of cancer, a particularly terrifying kind that formed tumors inside my brain and tormented me with indescribable headaches. I experienced pain I could never have imagined before. Cancer destroyed my teen years and my twenties, but I was determined to survive.

I'd just turned sixteen the first time I was diagnosed, and I learned to knit while undergoing chemotherapy. A woman with breast cancer, who had the chemo chair next to mine, used to knit and she's the one who taught me. The chemo was dreadful-not quite as bad as the headaches, but close. Because of knitting, I was able to endure those endless hours of weakness and severe nausea. With two needles and a skein of yarn, I felt I could face whatever I had to. My hair fell out in clumps, but I could weave yarn around a needle and create a stitch; I could follow a pattern and finish a project. I couldn't hold down more than a few bites at a time, but I could knit. I clung to that small sense of accomplishment, treasured it.

Knitting was my salvation-knitting and my father. He lent me the emotional strength to make it through the last bout. I survived but, sadly, Dad didn't. Ironic, isn't it? I lived, but my cancer killed my father.

The death certificate states that he died of a massive heart attack, but I believe otherwise. When the cancer returned, it devastated him even more than me. Mom has never been able to deal with sickness, so the brunt of my care fell to my father. It was Dad who got me through chemotherapy, Dad who argued with the doctors and fought for the very best medical care-Dad who lent me the will to live. Consumed by my own desperate struggle for life, I didn't realize how dear a price my father paid for my recovery. By the time I was officially in remission, Dad's heart simply gave out on him.

After he died, I knew I had to make a choice about what I should do with the rest of my life. I wanted to honor my father in whatever I chose, and that meant I was prepared to take risks. I, Lydia Anne Hoffman, resolved to leave my mark on the world. In retrospect, that sounds rather melodramatic, but a year ago it was exactly how I felt. What, you might ask, did I do that was so life-changing and profound?

I opened a yarn store on Blossom Street in Seattle. That probably won't seem earth-shattering to anyone else, but for me, it was a leap of faith equal to Noah's building the ark without a rain cloud in sight. I had an inheritance from my grandparents and gambled every cent on starting my own business. Me, who's never held down a job for more than a few weeks.

Me, who knew next to nothing about finances, profit-and-loss statements or business plans. I sank every dime I had into what I did know, and that was yarn and knitters.

Naturally, I ran into a few problems. At the time, Blossom Street was undergoing a major renovation-in fact, the architect's wife, Jacqueline Donovan, was one of the women in my first knitting class. Jacqueline, Carol and Alix, my original students, remain three of my closest friends to this day. Last summer, when I opened A Good Yarn, the street was closed to traffic. Anyone who managed to find her way to my store then had to put up with constant dust and noise. I refused to let the mess and inconvenience hamper my enthusiasm, and fortunately that was how my clientele felt, too. I was convinced I could make this work.

I didn't get the support you might expect from my family. Mom, bless her, tried to be encouraging, but she was in shock after losing Dad. She still is. Most days, she wanders hopelessly around in a fog of grief and loss. When I mentioned my plan, she didn't discourage me, but she didn't cheer me on, either. To the best of my memory, she said, "Sure, honey, go ahead, if you think you should." From my mother, this was as rousing an endorsement as I could hope to receive.

My older sister, Margaret, on the other hand, had no qualms about drowning me in tales of doom and gloom. The day I opened my store, she marched in with a spate of dire forecasts. The economy was down, she told me; people were hanging on to their money. I'd be lucky to stay afloat for six weeks. Ten minutes of listening to her ominous predictions, and I was ready to rip up the lease and close my door-until I reminded myself that this was my first official day on the job and I had yet to sell a single skein of yarn.

As you might've guessed, Margaret and I have a complicated relationship. Don't get me wrong; I love my sister. Until the cancer struck, we were like any other sisters with the normal ups and downs in our relationship. After I was initially diagnosed with brain cancer, she was wonderful. I remember she brought me a stuffed teddy bear to take to the hospital with me. I still have it somewhere if Whiskers hasn't gotten hold of it. Whiskers is my cat and he tends to shred anything with a fuzzy surface.

It was when I went through the second bout of cancer that Margaret's attitude changed noticeably. She acted as if I wanted to be sick, as if I was so hungry for attention that I'd brought this horror on myself. When I took my first struggling steps toward independence, I'd hoped she'd support my efforts. Instead, all I got was discouragement. But over time, that changed and eventually all my hard work won her over.

Margaret, to put it mildly, isn't the warm, spontaneous type. I didn't understand how much she cared about me until I had a third cancer scare just a few months after I opened A Good Yarn. Scare doesn't come close to describing my feelings when Dr. Wilson ordered those frightening, familiar tests. It was as if my entire world had come to a sudden halt. The truth is, I don't think I could've endured the struggle yet again. I'd already decided that if the cancer had returned, I would refuse treatment. I didn't want to die, but once you've lived with the threat of death, it loses its potency.

My come-what-may attitude disturbed Margaret, who wouldn't accept my fatalism. Talk of death unsettled her, the way it does most people, but when you've been around death and dying as much as I have, it seems as natural as turning off the lights. I don't look forward to dying, but I'm not afraid of it either. Thankfully, the tests came back negative and I'm thriving, right along with my yarn store. I mention it now because it was during those weeks that I discovered how deeply my sister loves me. In the last seventeen years, I've only seen her cry twice-when Dad died and when Dr. Wilson gave me a clean bill of health.

Once I returned to work full-time, Margaret bullied and cajoled me into contacting Brad Goetz again. Brad, who drives the UPS truck that makes deliveries to A Good Yarn, is the man I'd started seeing last year. He's divorced and has custody of his eight-year-old son, Cody. It would be an understatement to say Brad is good-looking; the fact is, he's drop-dead gorgeous. The first day he came into the store, wheeling several cartons of yarn, it was all I could do to keep the drool from dripping down my chin. I got so flustered I could hardly sign for the delivery. He asked me out three times before I finally agreed to meet him for drinks. Given my experience with male-female relationships, I was sure I'd be completely out of my element dating Brad. I would never have found the courage to say yes if not for Margaret, who harassed me into it.

I always say that A Good Yarn is my affirmation of life, but according to my sister I was afraid of life. Afraid to really live, to venture outside the tiny comfortable world I'd created inside my yarn store. She was right and I knew it, but still I resisted. It'd been so many years since I'd spent any amount of time with a man other than my father or my physician that I had the social finesse of a dandelion. But Margaret wouldn't listen to a single excuse, and soon Brad and I were having drinks together, followed by dinners, picnics with Cody and ball games. I've come to love Brad's son as much as I do my two nieces, Julia and Hailey.

These days Brad and I see quite a bit of each other. During my cancer scare, I'd pushed him away, which was a mistake as Margaret frequently pointed out. Brad forgave me, though, and we resumed out relationship. We're cautious-okay, I'm the one who's taking things slow, but Brad's fine with that. He was burned once when his ex-wife walked out, claiming she needed to "find herself." There's Cody to consider, too. The boy has a close relationship with Brad, and while Cody loves me too, I don't want to disrupt that special bond between father and son. So far, everything is going well, and we're talking more and more about a future together. Brad and Cody are so much a part of my life now that I couldn't imagine being without them.

Although it took her a while, Margaret is finally in favor of my yarn store. After a shaky start, my sister is a believer. She's actually working with me now. That's right, the two of us side by side, and that's nothing short of a miracle. Occasionally we regress, but we're making strides. I'm so glad she's with me, in every sense of the word.

Before I get too carried away, I want to tell you about my shop. The minute I laid eyes on this place I saw its potential. Despite the construction mess, the temporary drawbacks and shifting neighborhood, I realized it was perfect. I was ready to sign the lease before I'd even walked inside. I loved the large display windows, which look out onto the street. Whiskers sleeps there most days, curled up among the skeins and balls of yarn. The flower boxes immediately reminded me of my father's first bicycle shop, and it was almost as if my dad was giving my venture his nod of approval. The colorful but dusty striped awning sealed the deal in my mind. I knew this old-fashioned little shop could become the welcoming place I'd envisioned-and it has.

The renovation on Blossom Street is almost complete. The bank building has been transformed into ultraexpensive condos and the video store next to it is now a French-style café, cleverly called The French Café. Alix Townsend, who took my very first beginners' knitting class, worked at the old video store, and it's somehow fitting that her first real job as a pastry chef is in exactly the same location. Unfortunately, Annie's Café down the street is closed and vacant, but the space won't be empty for long. This is a thriving neighborhood.

The bell above my door chimed as Margaret stepped inside. It was the first Tuesday morning in June, and a lovely day. Summer would be arriving any time now in the Pacific Northwest.

"Good morning," I greeted her, turning from the small cof-feemaker I keep in the back room that's officially my office.

She didn't answer me right away and when she did it was more of a grumble than an actual response. Knowing my sister and her moods, I decided to bide my time. If she'd had an argument with one of her daughters or with her husband, she'd tell me eventually.

"I've got a pot of coffee on," I announced as Margaret walked into the back room and locked up her purse.

Without commenting, my sister pulled a freshly washed cup from the tray and reached for the pot. The drip continued, sizzling against the hot plate, but she didn't appear to notice.

Finally I couldn't stand it any longer and my resolve to give her a chance to get over her bad mood disappeared. "What's wrong with you?" I demanded. I have to admit I felt impatient; lately, she's brought her surly moods to work a little too often.

Facing me, Margaret managed a tentative smile. "Nothing…sorry. It's just that this feels a whole lot like a Monday."

Because the shop is closed on Mondays, Tuesday is our first workday of the week. I frowned at her, trying to figure out what the real problem was. But she'd assumed a perfectly blank expression, telling me nothing.

My sister is a striking woman with wide shoulders and thick, dark hair. She's tall and lean, but solid. She still looks like the athlete she used to be. I wish she'd do something different with her hair, though. She wears the same style she did in high school, parted in the middle and stick-straight until it hits her shoulders, where it obediently turns under, as if she's tortured it with a curling iron. That was certainly part of her teenage regimen-the curling iron, the hair spray, the vigorously wielded brush. The style's classic and it suits her, I suppose, but I'd give anything to see her try something new.

"I'm going to post a new class," I said, changing the subject abruptly, hoping to draw her out of her dour mood.

"In what?"

Ah, interest. That was a good sign. For the most part, all the classes I'd held had gone well. I'd taught a beginners' class, an intermediate and a Fair Isle, but there was one I'd been thinking of offering for a while.

"It's such a difficult question?"

My sister's sarcasm shook me from my brief reverie. "Socks," I told her. "I'm going to offer a class on knitting socks."

With the inventive new sock yarns on the market, socks were the current knitting rage. I carried a number of the European brands and loved the variety. My customers did, too. Some of the new yarns were designed to create an intricate pattern when knitted. I found it amazing to view a finished pair of socks, knowing the design had been formed by the yarn itself and not the knitter.

"Fine." Margaret's shoulders rose in a shrug. "I suppose you're going to suggest knitting them on circular needles versus the double-pointed method," she said casually.

"Of course." I preferred using two circular needles.

Margaret would rather crochet and while she can knit, she doesn't often. "There seems to be a lot of interest in socks lately, doesn't there?" Her tone was still casual, almost indifferent.

I regarded my sister closely. She always had a list of three or four reasons any idea of mine wouldn't work. It had become practically a game with us. I'd make some suggestion and she'd instantly tell me why it was bound to fail. I missed having the opportunity to state my case.

"So you think a sock class would appeal to our customers?" I couldn't help asking. Good grief, there had to be something drastically wrong with Margaret.

Customer Reviews

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Good Yarn (Blossom Street Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 219 reviews.
booklover6460 More than 1 year ago
The second book in the Blossom Street series was good. I didn't like it quite as much as the first book in the series, but it was still entertaining. This is a story of women and how they connect through the yarn shop. They each approach life from different places and with various emotional baggage. An enjoyable audiobook and I enjoy the books as I'm driving to and from work and church.
booklover6460 More than 1 year ago
The second book in the Blossom Street series was good. I didn't like it quite as much as the first book in the series, but it was still entertaining. This is a story of women and how they connect through the yarn shop. They each approach life from different places and with various emotional baggage. An enjoyable audiobook and I enjoy the books as I'm driving to and from work and church.
lexxa83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book so much more than the previous book in the series, although I am not sure why. I suppose because it developed the central characters and the yarn shop as well as brought in new characters. I was hesitant to read the remaining books in the series since the first book was just so-so, but I am glad that I continued as this one, and the next that I have just begun have been wonderful.
kerrycarter76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just a warm and touching Story. I have read Debbie Macomber's "The Shop on Blossom Street" and I thought that book was just a wonderful story. Again the author didn't disappoint me with this delightful tale "A Good Yarn". The story continues with the shop in Seattle that was opened by Lydia Hoffman, a cancer survivor. A new knitting class is created this time the project is knitting socks. New ladies appear in the class which I enjoyed their characters. Overall, this is a special, warm and touching story that I highly recommend. Bye.
jolzyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Blossom Street Series and in this book, although the author introduced three new characters; Bethane, Elise and Courtney and the plot of this book mainly evolved around them and the main character of the whole series; Lydia. I like that albeit the story has move on to the 3 main characters, the author have also provide glimpses on the 3 characters from the previous book as well.This book deals with the failure in marriage; in both Bethane and Elise's case while teenagers' issues in Courtney's story. All three of them, who does not know each other initially, found solace with each other's presence and helping each other to overcome their personal issues. I m particular feel sorry for Lydia at the beginning of the book, where Brad (who is the boyfriend) decided to called off their relationship in order to give his earlier marriage a chance and at the same time have to deal with her sister' personal problem as well as her mother's health issue. As usual, Debbie Macomber never failed to play the emotion of the reader, and i did shed a tear or two when Elise, who is unable to forgive her husband found out that he is terminally ill and that he have just a year to live. I can feel the sadness and regret in Elise by the author's writing. Overall, i enjoyed this book and will definitely move on the third book in the series very soon!
wolffamily on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light reading, highlights the good in people - Ann
drebbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cancer survivor Lydia Hoffman's shop "A Good Yarn" has thrived since she opened it a year ago. She decides to teach a class on how to knit socks and three people sign up for it. Elise Beaumont is a retired librarian who has recently suffered a financial setback and was forced to move in with her daughter's family. Elise has been divorced for many years but never stopped loving her ex-husband, "Maverick", whose gambling ruined their marriage. Elise is not pleased when she finds out that Maverick is coming to stay at their daughter's house - she's afraid of getting hurt again. Bethanne Hamlin is also divorced, although much more recently. The divorce came out of the blue; she had no idea that her marriage was in trouble until her husband told her on Valentine's Day that he was leaving her for a younger woman. The divorce left Bethanne demoralized; she needs to find a job but is convinced she's a failure. Her teenage children, Annie and Andrew, are also affected by the divorce, especially Annie who keeps acting out in her pain. Courtney Pulanski is also a troubled teenager. Her mother died in a car accident four years ago and Courtney is still mourning her death. With two kids in college and Courtney a senior in high school, her father needs money and takes a well-paying job building bridges in Brazil and Courtney is forced to move in with her grandmother and spend her senior year in a strange high school. Courtney is overweight and self-conscious about her looks and is convinced that her senior year will be miserable. Lydia has problems of her own; her sister Margaret has financial worries and may lose her house and is miserable to be around. Lydia is in love with UPS driver Brad, but he will soon deliver devastating news that threatens their relationship. Her mother's health is deteriorating and Lydia worries about her well being. All four women will find more comfort than they could possibly believe while learning how to knit socks. "A Good Yarn" is a great book for someone looking for a sweet, unchallenging read. The characters are all likable and believable, except perhaps for Maverick who is a bit of a cliché. Debbie Macomber is a good writer who makes you care for her characters in such a way that you will want to keep reading the book to find out what happens to each woman, yet you'll be sorry when the book is finally over. I do wish she had shown Courtney at her senior prom, but that's a minor quibble. Macomber ties everything up neatly at the end (and is to be commended for not having each woman find happiness only through a romantic relationship) and I loved the fairy godfather touch at the end. This is a perfect book for reading at the beach or on a rainy day.
readabook66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Warm and cozy, makes me want to knit socksJune 2007
coopermom71 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
#2 in the knitting series. Return to the shop on Blossom Street.
Brandie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good light read. One of those pretty predictable books IMO, but I still enjoyed it. It was just what I needed when I was taking breaks from unpacking, organizing, cleaning, schooling, etc, etc. I didn't realize there is a book by Macomber that come before it so I will have to go and read The Shop On Blossom Street soon I think!I did really enjoy all the characters though - kind of like in the quilting series I read - you fall in love with the characters, want the best for them, and still want to see how their lives continued on after the book is over. And it also makes me want to visit that yarn shop, knit with these woman and share my life with them - a book that leaves you with a good feeling when you are done for sure!
koalamom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, uplifting tale, i.e., a good yarn, about Lydia Hoffman who give a class in her yarn shop on knitting socks. The three who sign up are beginners and also women with seemingly insurmountable problems in their lives, as does Lydia herself. Resolutions don't come easy but they survive and sometimes not in the way they thought they wanted at the beginning.
litelady-ajh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked it, happy ending (of course), I need to read happy endings once in a while.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Following on from "A Shop on Blossom Street" this is the next installment in this story of lives circling around a yarn shop. Adding in a new cast of characters the main three here are Elise Beaumont, a retired Librarian, currently living with her daughter while she's trying to get her money back from a failed housing investment. Her ex-husband is back, can she trust him this time?Bethanne Hamlin, divorced, trying to find a role in life away from marriage and bringing up children and finding it very hard, particularly as her daughter is acting up.Courtney Pulanski is a depressed and slightly overweight teenager who has to move to live with her granmother to finish up high school as her father is away in Brazil.And of course we have Lydia, the shop owner, still trying to work out her relationship with Brad and her sister, whose husband has lost his job.Cosy, interesting but ultimately occasionally a little too safe. Readable but not remarkable
KathyBrandt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another wonderful book by Debbie Macomber. This is the second book in a series on Blossom Street about the people who live in the area or own some of the store fronts on Blossom Street. Three new members of the knitting class, plus the knitting store owner and her sister are portrayed in this book, weaving their stories together.
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Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
What a wonderfully enjoyable story. Macomber had me crying like a baby and laughing real belly laughs in turn. The intertwining tales throughout created a complex plot that kept me thoroughly captivated. It was so real and realistic. I love how Macomber can examine situations from every side without breaking the flow of the story. Macomber doesn’t simply tell you a story about her characters; she invites you into their lives through the pages of her novel. Each one came to life in a different way for me. I loved how I got to know them as individuals. The different trials that they went through brought me closer to each of them. Even if I didn’t quite love them at the beginning of the novel, by the end we were fast friends. Once again Macomber put pen to paper to create an unforgettable story of the lives of her many characters. It was a great read on its own and a fantastic addition to her series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the whole series! Thoroughly enjoyed. Book one was my fav!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I love how the characters lives are transformed through a knitting circle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started with her books with this series and I adore her writting style and the way she pulls you into others lives. All her series and short stories are great "feel good get-a-away" stories.
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