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The Great Christmas Knit-Off: A Novel…

The Great Christmas Knit-Off: A Novel (Tindledale)

by Alexandra Brown

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The story is told from the point of view of Sybil, a woman in her early thirties. She decides to go and spend the weekend in a place called Tindledale. Things start to go wrong right from the start...

Most of the book takes place in this picturesque (albeit somewhat caricatured) village where everyone knows and cares about everyone else.

There are a lot of people in the book despite it being such a small village, and I found myself getting confused at times; not that it mattered unduly. The main characters were nicely drawn, though; I could certainly believe in Sybil and also in the somewhat klutzy (but very handsome) doctor.

I liked the knitting aspect, although I wasn’t entirely sure I believed in the ability of the group of women to do as much knitting as they had to towards the end of the book. Nor was I impressed with the single small pattern offered at the end, for a Christmas pudding; the simplistic instructions clearly didn’t match the picture that went with it.

Still, it's a pleasant story with some mildly amusing sections, and one or two quite moving ones. Recommended in a low-key way for those who enjoy undemanding women’s fiction. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 28, 2017 |
Sibyl flees the various disasters of her London life to visit her friend in a tiny country town... and when Cher isn't there, she ends up staying at a B&B and getting involved in village life, and acts as something of a catalyst for some of their problems.

This is a sweet, heartwarming, holiday read, with no pretense to be anything more; pure basic chick lit. The characters are well-drawn enough, but there's a higher level of flamboyance and eccentricity than I think would be likely in such a small town.; still that makes for a more entertaining read.

A couple of quirks in Brown's writing grated on me, too- especially "grin" as a synonym for "say"- used once or twice such can add flavor, but regular use gets annoying.

The knitting content is there, but not all that important- and the pattern in the back does not even reflect its own picture there, since the pic is all knitted, and the pattern uses felt and beads instead of various knitted components. Disappointing! ( )
  cissa | Dec 19, 2015 |
My first attempt at reading anything by this author was Cupcakes at Carrington's. I only read about three chapters and put the book down. Despite my efforts of trying that book I just could not get into it.

To be honest when I picked up this book I did not recognize that it was the same author until I saw the list of titles in the beginning of the book. Yet I have to say that this book is ten times better than the prior novel. I now have a different reaction to this author and will probably check out more books by this author in the future. This book is a charming, fun read. It really does get you into the holiday spirits. Everyone at Tindledale is so friendly. If this town existed I would want to visit it. ( )
  Cherylk | Nov 7, 2015 |
You might just be saying to yourself - Christmas books already Luanne?! Well, I've had snow at my place already. And yes, I'm going to say it.....only nine weeks 'til Christmas. I absolutely adore reading Christmas stories in the weeks leading up to the 25th.

And here's one feel good read you absolutely need to put on your Christmas reading list - The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown.

Sybil's life has unraveled - she's been jilted, left at the alter by her ex-fiancee - who took off with her twin sister - at work, she may be the one responsible for a large amount of missing money, transferred with a mistaken key stroke - and more. When her bestie takes over running a wee little pub in the village of Tindledale, Sybs decides to visit and get away from her life for a weekend.

Uh huh, you know what's coming don't you? Warm, wonderful, friendly, quirky characters inhabit the village of Tindledale and Sybs is immediately welcomed. When she discovers a wool shop, she knows she's found a kindred spirit in Hettie, the aged owner. But Hettie's nephew is determined to put her in a home and take over her property. Oh, and did I mention the handsome (single) village doctor?

Sybil is a character the reader is immediately drawn to - she's someone you'd love to have as a friend. The reader can't help but cheer her on as she starts to reclaim her life and move forward. There's a lovely sense of community as the residents work together to save Hettie's store. Romance of course figures into the plot - with the requisite missteps, mistakes and miscommunication. Good and bad (that nasty nephew) battle and there are many poignant moments with Hettie as her past is explored and revealed.

Me? I'd love to be part of the knit and natter group. (There's also a pattern included at the back of the book for one of Sybil's projects.) Or settle in for a pint at the Duck and Puddle and catch up on the latest. Make yourself a warm cup of tea - or better yet a cup of cocoa - and settle in for a perfect, heartwarming Christmas read. (This is the first book in Brown's new series set in Tindledale.) ( )
  Twink | Oct 21, 2015 |
"The Great Christmas Knit-Off" by Alexander Brown is the first novel in her new Tindledale series. What makes this novel intriguing, is that it is written in a style that reflects the current cultural background of modern-day Britain. The character Sybs is a joy to read about. She teaches a lesson to the reader to stand up for yourself, and your dreams.

Her dream is to own and manage a haberdashery shop for her love of knitting.

I enjoyed this novel very much, and plan to re-read it just before Christmas again. It would make a great Christmas tradition to read "The Great Christmas Knit-Off" every holiday season.

I received a copy of this novel from the Goodreads Giveaway from the publisher, William Morrow, to review. ( )
  jcozart | Sep 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007597363, Paperback)

The perfect seasonal tale of how laughter, friends and wacky Christmas jumpers can mend a broken heart. For fans of Trisha Ashley and Jenny Colgan. 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...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:59 -0400)

Broken-hearted after being jilted on the day of her wedding, Sybil has been saved from the depths of despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering at work that she may inadvertently have perpetrated the cock-up to end all cock-ups, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and just weeks before Christmas runs away to see her old friend, Cher, in the picture-postcard village of Tindledale. The village seems to hark back to a bygone era and to her delight, Sybil also discovers Hettie's House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needlecraft. But the bad news is that the shop is due for closure. Hetty, the outspoken and eccentric octogenarian owner, can't keep up with the rent on her tiny pension and dwindling profits. Sybil has some ideas that might help and when Hetty decides that Sybil's fabulously ornate and imaginative Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen.… (more)

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