Monday, 17 November 2014

Book Review - The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown

The Great Christmas Knit Off
The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown
Published: 6th November 2014
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 400
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.

There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…
Firstly I would like to thank Harper Collins for sending me a digital copy of The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown, I actually squealed when I saw this little beauty land on my kindle, for a fan of Christmas and all things crafty it’s perfect for me.  If any of you have read her Carrington’s series you will know that Alexandra has such a way of creating a magical heart-warming sense of community and characters that you just can’t help but adore her books.  With The Great Christmas Knit Off she has done it again, will an added bit of Christmas sparkle.
In The Great Christmas Knit Off we meet Sybil and she’s having a pretty rough year. First she was jilted at the alter by love rat Luke, who then ran off with twin sister Sasha. Then her mother keeps trying to set her up with the neighbour’s son, finally she makes a BIG mistake at work which has cost literally thousands. Exhausted and in need to somewhere to hide Sybil heads off to the small village of Tindledale, hidden deep in the countryside to visit her friend Cher. After a brief encounter with a dishy gentleman on the train Sybil arrives in Tindledale to discover snow and no taxis.  Eventually she arrives at the village pub to find to electricity, no room at the inn and no Cher.  After she’s given somewhere to stay by  B & B owner Lawrence, Sybil finds herself in Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, somewhere where she can indulge in her favourite past time KNITTING.  In Hettie, Sybil finds a kindered spirit and the pair pour their hearts out to each other over the click-clack of the knitting needles.  As Sybil begins to knit a Christmas jumper for Hettie, word of the knitting spreads round the village and one by one the villagers join Sybil and Hettie knitting and the Tindledale Tappers are born and soon they have an extra special project to complete.
I just adored all the characters in this book. Sybil is so lovely the way she wants to help Hettie get herself back on her feet after only just meeting her. She seems a little fragile when she first arrives in Tindledale but with Lawrence’s help she begins to blossom and feel complete herself, like she’s finally found where she belongs.  Lawrence, is just, well he reminded of a fairy-godmother for Sybil, giving her shelter and a shoulder to cry on when she needed someone to listen. I just loved him. Hettie reminded me  little of my grandma, the way the knitting just brought a smile to her face even though her heart was aching on the inside and I just wanted to give her a hug and make everything alright for her again.  The little budding romance between the adorable Dr Darcy and Sybil was so cute, I was just longing for them to find a little alone time to see if there was real chemistry between them. Other characters I liked were Ruby, Marigold and Taylor as they all added a little depth and more background to the story.
Tindledale sounds like the perfect place to live, everything is centred on village life and the community spirit in this places oozes off the pages. I really loved the little map at the beginning of the book as it really helped me picture this quaint little village in my mind.  My favourite place was Hettie’s House of Haberdashery as I love anything crafty and can imagine spending hours in here browsing and perhaps hoping someone will be able to finally teach me to knit if I stayed long enough!
This book is the perfect Christmas read is it brimming with everything Christmas described in a lovely whimsical, slightly old fashioned way and I adored it, another visit to Tindledale and its inhabitants cannot come quick enough.  Alexandra Brown has another winner with this book and the only downside to it is…I’ve finished it!!
Rating 5/5

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