Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review: The Wishing Thread

The Wishing ThreadAuthor: Lisa Van Allen
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books

For fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Sarah Addison Allen, The Wishing Thread is an enchanting novel about the bonds between sisters, the indelible pull of the past, and the transformational power of love.

The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.

When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?

Includes an exclusive conversation between Sarah Addison Allen and Lisa Van Allen
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And her sisters, once as close to her as seeds in the heart of an apple, were gone.

In kindergarten, other children were learning to tie their shoes, but Meggie was already an expert at both the knit and purl stiches – whether she liked it or not.

It was no stretch of imagination for the people of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow to believe in magic.

For the women of the Stitchery, this was the beginning of the end.

I am the biggest fan of Alice Hoffman and her beloved tale, Practical Magic. In fact, that book sits at the top of my bookshelf. I believe that The Wishing Thread was written in the same light, being magical realism, and I noticed quite a few similarities. The Van Ripper women have a special gift, and this gift causes them to be both loved and hated by the local residents of Tarrytown. They live in what is called the “Stitchery,” which is only minutes from the place of the legendary Headless Horseman. Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie can knit people’s deepest, darkest wishes, dreams, and prayers into beautiful pieces of clothing such as mittens, scarves, or just about anything. When their Aunt Mariah dies the sisters must come together and heal; they must also make a few sacrifices along the way. If you love magical realism, then you should definitely pick up a copy of this book!

I just couldn’t stop thinking about cozy this book felt. The bond of the sisters and their stitchery felt very comforting and I could clearly picture their home and each of them in my head. Magical Realism has that tendency I believe, to make you feel like you are nestled down by a fire wrapped up in the greatest story ever told. I was instantly drawn into their lives and their ability to transport magic into a scarf or a pair of mittens. I also liked the rules that were dropped throughout the story. For example, “It’s wrong to knit for a person you dislike.”

I instantly connected with the oldest and youngest sisters, Aubrey and Meggie. I didn’t care too much for Bitty because she shut out her ability to do magic and she abandoned her sisters so early on. I did like her daughter, Nessa, and her curiosity takes the reader to creepy, mysterious places throughout the book. I think that Nessa, even though she is young, connects with Aubrey and Meggie and feels her own magical gifts. I loved Aubrey just because it is usually the oldest sister who steps in to save the others when times get tough!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. Great review and quotes. The story sounds interesting.