Tuesday 8 October 2013

Review ~ The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen

Ballantine Books
September 2013

As an enthusiastic knitter, I was really interested to read this book which is in part magical realism and part fantasy, and which features the deliciously quirky Van Ripper sisters, whose home is the aptly named ‘Stitchery’ in the heart of Sleepy Hollow. Surrounded by the essence of their craft, the sisters are said to knit magic into their stitches, weaving good fortune and love potions into gloves,hats and scarves for their neighbourhood. However, the sisters combine their talents in very different ways. Aubrey is the one who has stayed at home with family matriarch, Mariah, whilst Bitty and Meggie have spread their wings further afield. When Mariah, dies, the sisters come together for a reunion in Sleepy Hollow, in which the future of the Stitchery must be decided.

This quirky story really kept my interest and I found much to enjoy, not just from the references to knitting but also in how the story pulled together all the elements and combined them to form a story of family, and the unshakeable bonds which bind us together. There is no doubt that the author has great skill with words; her fine attention to detail and wonderful cast of characters make this a lovely book to read. The idea of knitted magic is so well done, you almost find yourself hoping that all hand knitted goodies held the same brand of enchantment.

I really enjoy this type of magical realism and found that much of the story reminded me of the writing of Sarah Addison Allen’s, whose work I enjoy. Without doubt, The Wishing Thread compares very favourably against this authors work and I can only hope that Lisa Van Allen goes from strength to strength in a genre which suits her style of writing quite perfectly.

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing - Ballantine for my ecopy of this book

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