The perfect seasonal tale of how laughter, friends and wacky Christmas jumpers can mend a broken heart…
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…
Huge thanks to Harper Collins UK for approving me for a review copy via NetGalley.
I’d heard such great things about this book, so I was really excited to start it, and it does not disappoint! This is just the sweetest, most darling Christmas book I could possibly imagine.
Okay, so let’s start at the beginning. The book begins with a map of Tindledale. That was it for me, I was sold right then and there. It was SO CUTE. I just love finding little extra details in books like that – finishing touches, as I always call them. Before I’d even read the first sentence, I felt myself start falling for this sweet little town. Well played, Miss Brown, well played. (Oh, and can we all just agree how sweet a name ‘Tindledale’ is? Doesn’t that just sound like the sweetest, quaintest village ever? Yes? Okay. Good.)
As soon I started on the actual story, it pushed me off the ledge and I fell head over heels for Sybs and this gorgeous story.
Sybil is a wonderful main character. She’s so sweet, endearing and lovable, and I was heart-broken for her when I read of how her horrid ex Luke had jilted her. What an a-hole. With a broken heart, a wounded pride and the bonus of some incredibly worrying work problems, Sybs is definitely in need of an escape. Where better to run for comfort than the sweet English countryside where her best friend has moved to? So off to Tindledale it is.
What she never excpects, is that Tindledale doesn’t just offer her somewhere to escape and hide, but actually offers her a chance to thrive; to really be herself for the first time in a very long time.
The villagers of Tindledale were all wonderful. They all had their own story, their own unique personality and their own unique passions. I fell in love individually with every friend Sybs made, and it genuinely felt like they were welcoming me in to Tindledale along with her.
Hettie, the owner of Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, is a sweet old lady, with a very stern front. She’s built up walls so high around her, and though she’s obviously sad and suffering behind it, she doesn’t want to let any one in. I honestly just wanted to reach into the book, pull her out, and give her the biggest hug of her life. My heart absolutely ached for her, wanting to know everything about her life and wanting to help her – much as Sybs wants.
The two strike up a most unlikely and beautiful friendship over a shared love of knitting, and it’s a wonder to behold.
Other notable characters are Lawrence, the fabulous B&B owner who takes such good care of Sybs; Ruby, the beautiful burlesque-dancing fashionista; Marigold, a total gossip with a heart of gold; and the sweet, awkward, (gorgeous!) Dr Darcy. They all added such beautiful flavour to the story and to Tindledale the village, I really do want to live there!
The story has such strong themes of friendship, community spirit, and standing up for each other, pulling through together, that it made for an incredibly up-lifting read. I was actually sad when this book ended because I was enjoying it so much. It’s the type you hug to your chest with a dreamy look on your face once you’ve finished.
I also loved how fabulously festive it was – as it should be for a Christmas book, but is not always the way! The snowy setting of Tindledale was perfect for this Christmas story, and it was Christmas jumpers galore for the Christmas knit-off!
Other ‘finishing touches’ worth mentioning are the Christmas pudding knit pattern included at the end, and choice of two different festive-colours for the cover. Extra brownie points for Alexandra and Harper Collins.
I am whole-heartedly giving 5 festive penguins to this beautiful Christmas book, and an equally whole-hearted thanks to Alexandra Brown for writing such a wonderful story.