My Rating: 4/5
Author: Lisa Van Allen
Title: The Wishing Thread
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?
The Wishing Thread is a story about an old house, the Stitchery, and the three sisters who inherited it after their aunt died. The house has a long standing history of women who stitched spells for the local citizens. Some spells worked and the others did not. For each spell, the requester must sacrifice something dear to them; otherwise the spell might not work. Is there really magic? Is it the power of suggestion? It is for the reader to decide. Although this book centers on the people of the stitchery, and hence its magical workings, the paranormal aspects of this story is low-keyed. So, if you’re not big on paranormal stories but thought this might be an interesting to read, than you should be good to go. If you love paranormal reads – very focused on this part, you might be a little disappointed, but I would still give the book a chance. It may surprise you.
The story is written in third person and follows the three sisters: Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie. Aubrey is “the guardian” of the Stitchery. She works spells just like the sister’s Aunt Mariah – who dies at the beginning of the book. Aubrey has strange blue eyes and is the self-conscious, avoids social events, and believes her life is already mapped out for her as the Guardian. She also feels that she is doomed to the Van Ripper madness that has been known to plague its women. Bitty has two children and a messy marriage. She moved away from the Stitchery as soon as she could. However, her life did not turn out exactly as she planned. She now faces her sisters and questions her path. Meggie, the youngest, left the Stitchery right after graduation from high school. She always felt alone in the world and seeks out someone special. Again, things do not turn out as she had hoped. The sisters are forced back together when their aunt dies, which also brings about the discussion of what to do with the Stitchery – sell it or keep it. Each sister has her own personal reason for her opinion on the matter. Can they come to an agreement while stitching the fragile relationship back together?
The plot focuses on how the sisters cope with the death of their aunt and the threat of a shopping center built upon their small town. The sisters, as well as, the neighbors try to come together to stop the destruction of the old – yet worn down – town. Each sister faces her own insecurities and troubles while adapting to the changes around them. The story did not contain as much paranormal activity as I thought it would have. It was constantly there but very faintly in the background – if that makes any sense. By the end of the book, I was still not sure if there really was “magic.” One could argue that each person makes their own magic in this book. The story made me think about this as I read.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a nice contemporary read with a slight paranormal twist. If you like this kind of genre, then you should give The Wishing Thread a try.