Author: Lisa Van Allen
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Published: April 2014, Tantor Media
Length: 11 hours, 3 minutes
Source: Personal copy via audible
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?
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - it was a light tale that just seemed to pull me in right from the beginning. Maybe because it was a tale about sisters or maybe because the setting is so close to where I live, but I felt that I could relate to this book. I also found that the magic that was woven throughout the storyline was so cleverly used that it never once felt contrived - much like Sarah Addison Allen's books are and you know I'm a huge fan of her books!
I loved that while a big part of this book focused on Aubrey, we did get to "know" all Van Ripper sisters and find out what really pulled them apart. Coming together after the death of their aunt, they learn a lot about each other and just how far they are willing to go in the name of love.
While I am not a knitter, instead I crochet, I could appreciate the tidbits about knitting and the magic that comes from having that handmade item. Of course, items that comes from The Stitchery go one step further by actually knitting people's wishes into the items, but when we hand-make a blanket or scarf for someone in whatever medium we use, don't we make it with our own version of that - our best hopes and wishes for the recipient? Couldn't that at some level be considered the same thing?
I found this magical tale to be a great story. It was so easy to get totally wrapped up in the story and not want to put it down. I can't wait to see what Lisa Van Allen writes next!
Audio Thoughts: This is the first book I've listened to that Amy Rubinate has narrated and I really enjoyed listening to her. She was able to create unique characters and give this book just the right touch of whimsy I think it needed. I am looking forward to listening to more of her work.
*** Devourer of Books hosts Sound Bytes - a monthly link-up to share the audio books that everyone is listening to. Stop by and you just might find your next audio book!