This is the fourth book in the Blossom Street series by prolific author Debbie Macomber. The series began with The Shop on Blossom Street and continued with A Good Yarn and Back on Blossom Street. I was first intrigued by the series because of the knitting connection. Just like I love to read books about books, I also love to read books that have references to knitting. I'm not a master knitter by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love to knit. I've read and enjoyed each of the books in the series. They are light, fun, quick reads with a little more depth to them than many books in the same category. I have to admit that I was just a little disappointed in this latest installment. Lydia, the yarn store owner from the first couple books, barely made an appearance at all. In fact, the characters from the first several books were mentioned in passing but were not the main characters for this book. Instead of the series being focused on Lydia and the yarn store, it seems that Macomber is introducing a new store owner from Blossom Street with each new book. This is not really a criticism but more a misunderstanding on my part from what I thought the series was going to be.
In this book, we meet Anne Marie who owns a bookstore on Blossom Street. She's 38 years old and recently widowed. She'd married a much older man who had a family from a previous marriage. At the time of their marriage, Anne Marie didn't think that would be a problem for her. However, as the years passed she found herself desperately wanting to become a mother. She's now dealing with the death of her husband and trying to come to terms with the fact that she'll probably never have a child of her own.
The title of the book comes out of a Valentine's Day party held at the bookstore for several of her friends who are also widows. Though they come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, the women share the fact that they're all recently widowed. As each woman struggles to come to terms with her situation, they decide that they'll each make a list of twenty wishes -- not goals, but simply wishes. This was a way to rejoin the world of the living and look towards the future. I was actually intrigued by the idea of making a list of wishes. We all have things that we would love to be able to do at some point in our lives. I haven't actually started a list, but I have thought about a few things that I might include, such as going to Scotland. I dont' know if it'll ever happen, but it's nice to think about anyway.
As I said earlier, I enjoyed the book but was a little disappointed that there were few references to knitting and that so many new characters are introduced with few appearances from characters from previous books. Many of the individual story lines in the book ended predictably, but I didn't mind that all that much. I guess I'll wait and see what happens when the next book is published, but I'm not sure that I'll continue reading this series at this point.