Macomber is a master storyteller; any one of these characters could have been a stereotype in less talented hands. Instead, these women and their stories are completely absorbing.

Knitting has been Lydia Hoffman's lifeline for years, sustaining her through two early bouts with cancer. Now 30, she's realizing her dream of owning a yarn store. Teaching a beginner's knitting class is only a way of earning extra money at first, but the three women who sign up for the first one become special to Lydia, though their situations and personalities are wildly disparate.

Unhappy matron Jacqueline Donovan has one hope for joy in her life—her soon-to-be-born grandchild. Career woman Carol Girard is desperately trying to conceive a child after many attempts. Young Alix Townsend is working on anger management to improve her life.

While creating baby blankets, these four women also create enduring friendships that change all of their lives forever.

(May, 352pp., $19.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer