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…
Over the last couple of years Alexandra Brown has treated us to the fabulous Carrington's series, set in a fictional department store in Mulberry-on-Sea, and now she's back with a brand new series introducing us to a whole host of delightful characters in the fictional village of Tindledale.
Firstly I must apologise to Alexandra and her publisher Harper Collins as I've actually had The Great Christmas Knit Off on my Kindle since last year but ill health and life have played their part in delaying me from reading this fantastic new story from an author who is fast becoming one of my favourite 'go to' authors. I know that whenever I'm feeling out of sorts and need a little something to cheer me up I can pick up any one of Alexandra's Carrington's books and am guaranteed a read that will put a smile back on my face and now I have another new series to fall in love with too.
When we first meet Sybil, Sybs to her friends, she is an emotional mess after being jilted so when a big mistake is discovered at work that she thinks she might have made, she decides that she needs to get away from it all for the weekend. And where better to go than to visit her best friend Cher who has recently moved to the small village of Tindledale but like everything else in her life this plan was not quite as straight forward as she hoped!
Once again Alexandra Brown has written a series with community at the heart of it and you can't help but be drawn in and fall in love with the diverse mix of characters from flamboyant Lawrence who offers her a roof over head, glamorous Ruby who comes to her rescue with clothes to wear, eccentric Marigold who rallys the troops when one of their own needs a helping hand, to reclusive Hettie who is reluctant to accept help from the villagers let alone newcomer Sybs. As for dishy Dr Ben... he can come and sit by my bedside anytime ;)
There is so much to love about this book but for me what I loved the most was the solidarity that the villagers had for one of their own when it looked like her home and livelihood was under threat. When Sybs comes up with an ingenious idea as to how to raise the cash needed they come together and knit up a storm.
Despite the title suggesting that this is a festive read it is a story that I think readers will love any time of the year especially on a typical British Summer's day like I did when it's tipping it down... there's nothing better than to forget about the dreary weather outside and curl up and savour this charming read instead. And if you're feeling adventurous maybe you'll try and knit the Christmas Pudding from the pattern at the back of the book, think that I'll give this one a miss as I know after numerous failed attempts when I was younger that me and knitting are not the perfect combo!
There is one plus point to having not read The Great Christmas Knit Off sooner in that I don't have too long to wait for the next book in the series The Great Village Show, which is out now as an eBook and the paperback is being published this week so I'll be heading off to the shops to buy a copy to join Alexandra's other books on my bookshelf.