The Knitting Diaries

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The Knitting Diaries

This book not only gives you three fantastic knitting patterns but gives you three fantastic stories by three of romances favorite authors.

Debbie Macomber starts this book out with The Twenty-first Wish. Anne Marie Roche was a widow looking for purpose when she ended up adopting Ellen after her grandmother dies. Ellen's mother is in jail and her father just recently found out that he even had a child. Anne Marie isn't giving Ellen up but she is willing to share her with her father, Tim Carlsen. However, as much as Ellen would like Anne Marie and Tim to marry, Anne Marie is dating Mel. Mel is acting really strange lately. What is going on?

This was a great story to start this book out.

The characters were well rounded and interesting. I think it could be any adopted parent's nightmare to have a birth parent arrive out of the blue. But Anne Marie seems to deal with it and is able to incorporate Tim into their lives. Mel, while a great friend and perhaps even more with time, isn't too sure he wants Tim around. It's as if he is threatened by the younger man. Ellen is portrayed as a typical 10 year old child, into things, wanting to play with her friends and not too sure about moving into a new house.

Coming Unraveled by Susan Mallery is next. Robyn Mulligan headed to New York with dreams of being a Broadway star. For the past few years, she's been waiting tables more than she's been on the stage. When her grandmother that raised her needs surgery, Robyn sells everything she owns to return to Texas. She's ready to make a fresh start and plans on helping out in her grandmother's knitting store until her grandmother is back on her feet. She doesn't expect to find a hot tempered man glaring at her as if she had crawled out from under a rock. T.J. Passman is sure Robyn has taken advantage of her grandmother and the two other ladies that work with her. He's not going to let her get away with doing it any more. T.J. owes these ladies more than he could ever repay. But, is he going to be willing to listen to the truth or is he just going to believe what he wants?

These are some complex characters with just as complex lives. T.J. lost his wife and infant son to an accident that he barely survived. He has a big recording company that he pretty much has let his staff run for the past few years. He's just beginning to feel like he's ready rejoin life when Robyn returns. Robyn has no idea what she's going to do with her life. She knows she gave New York a good chance but that's not what she wants any more. Robyn guesses she can wait tables. Even the older ladies have lives, one is getting married and even Robyn's grandmother has more dreams to chase. Can everyone find a happy ending, or start as the case may be?

The last story but not the least is Return to Summer Island by Christina Skye. Caro McNeal grew up with her talented grandmother, Morgan on Summer Island, OR. Once grown, Caro headed to Chicago and a rewarding career though she did take her love of knitting with her. While rushing to an appointment, Caro is struck by a van and is seriously injured. She returns to Summer Island to recover. When Lt Gage Grayson stops by the house to pick up a painting he meets Caro. With Gage are his two beloved pets, Bogart and Bacall. His sister had been watching them while Gage was in Afghanistan but she's undergoing treatment for cancer so Gage is taking them to a friend. However, once he meets Caro, he takes a little time for a picnic lunch. What Gage doesn't know is his friend has become ill and he's going to have to find somewhere else to leave his pets. They end up in the care of Morgan's friend, Peter the local vet who runs a shelter. Caro begins to keep Gage posted on his pets but will it become more?

This story brings out one of the problems many service members fact, what to do with their pets when deployed. Gage is heartbroken when he has to take his to a shelter. This is not what he wants to do but he's run out of options.

As with the other two stories, the characters in this one are extremely well done and seem to come to life. Real world problems occur but the way these characters handle them make them fantastic. No unreal heroics but down to earth reality.

The common theme through each of these stories is knitting. The love of knitting came through each letting you know that the authors of these stories truly understand this hobby. Even if you don't knit, their glowing depiction might have you wanting to learn.

I really enjoyed these stories. I know that two are somewhat tied into a series that the authors write but you don't have to know that or read them to thoroughly enjoy these stand alone short stories.

Now, if I could just remember how to knit..

Book Blurb for The Knitting Diaries

The Twenty-First Wish by Debbie Macomber

Anne Marie Roche and her adopted daughter, ten-year-old Ellen, have each written a list of twenty wishes—on which they included learning to knit. But Ellen has quietly added a twenty-first wish: that her mom will fall in love with Tim, Ellen's birth father, who's recently entered their lives….

Coming Unraveled by Susan Mallery

When Robyn Mulligan's dreams of becoming a Broadway star give way to longing for her childhood home, she returns to Texas, running her grandmother's knitting store. But the handsome, hot-tempered T. J. Passman isn't making it easy on her. If he can learn to trust Robyn, and overcome his tragic past, they just might discover a passion like no other.

Return to Summer Island by Christina Skye

After a devastating car accident, Caro McNeal is welcomed by a community of knitters on Oregon's sleepy Summer Island. She also finds meaning and purpose in the letters she exchanges with a marine serving in Afghanistan. But when life takes another unexpected turn, will Caro pick up the threads of hope, opening her heart to wherever it takes her?

Night Owl Reviews May, 2011 4.75