Book Review: The Wishing Thread

Title: The Wishing Thread
Author: Lisa van Allen
Format: e-ARC from NetGalley
Genre: Fiction (magical realism!)
Rating: 4.5/5

I loved this book. I really did. There were times that I didn’t want to read any more because I was so invested in the characters that the idea of it ending was painful (and also because I didn’t want any of the bad things I could see coming to actually happen). I ended up reading the last 100 pages last night, slightly rushed, as if reading it faster would make the ending come out the way I’d hoped. (It wasn’t quite what I wanted, but it was a good ending – the kind where the author didn’t wimp out and not let the bad thing happen just because it was bad. But also the kind where the worst thing that could have happened didn’t.)

The Wishing Thread follows the Van Rippers – a family of magical knitters who knit spells for those who need them (and those willing to make a sacrifice). They’ve lived in Tappan Square (near Sleepy Hollow) for centuries, but are running out of time. A local developer wants to demolish their neighborhood and build a shopping mall. It’s up to the newest guardian of The Stichery to save her home, her neighbors, and maybe all their family’s magic.

The setting for the book was super fun, especially since I grew up in NY state and used to live in the NYC metro area and Sleepy Hollow is kind of a big deal in NY. It was also fun to see knitting as a magical activity. I’m a huge fan of magical realism, but most of the books I’ve read have focused on cooking as a creative activity. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but I also love to knit and I felt like this book really got the idea that creating something (a sweater! a hat! some gloves!) out of a single piece of string IS magic. This is a great book for knitters, magical realism fans, and for library collections (especially if you have a lot of knitters).

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