In the tradition of Trisha Ashley and Jenny Colgan, this first book in a new series by Alexandra Brown—author of the popular Cupcakes at Carrington’s series—tells the hilarious, heartwarming story of a jilted bride who anticipates a lonely Christmas but instead finds herself in the tiny village of Tindledale, where the residents share her obsession with knitting.
When life unravels, it’s time to knit…
Sybil has always taken comfort in her passion for knitting, creating beautiful knits stitch by stitch. But her world suddenly unravels when her fiancé ditches her for her identical twin sister at her Star Wars-themed wedding, leaving her sporting a Princess Leia do. Then things go from bad to worse when an incident at work jeopardizes her job.
Hoping to escape her woes and forget that she’ll be alone for Christmas this year, she visits her friend in Tindledale—a winter wonderland of quaint shops and snowy rooftops. When she arrives in the idyllic town, she can’t help feeling like she’s in a Hallmark greeting card. She’s embraced by welcoming—if eccentric—locals wearing handmade knits that remind Sybil of her own creations as well as her unrealized ambitions of selling them. So when the vintage boutique asks her to make an assortment of knits for their display window, she’s thrilled. The hot town doctor has even taken an interest in Sybil, hoping to heal her broken heart.
But just when Sybil thinks she’s going to have her fairytale Christmas after all, an unexpected turn of events threatens to unspool her happily ever after.
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About the Author
Alexandra Brown began her writing career as the City Girl columnist for the London Paper. She wrote the weekly column—a satirical diary account of her time working in the corporate world of London—for two years before giving it up to concentrate on writing novels and is now the author of the Cupcakes at Carrington's books. Set in a department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry-On-Sea, the series follows the life, loves and laughs of sales assistant Georgie Hart. The Great Christmas Knit-Off is Alexandra's fourth book and the first in a new series set in the fictional village of Tindledale, following the lives of all the characters there. Alexandra lives in a real village near the south coast of England with her husband, daughter and a very shiny black Labrador retriever.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a delightful holiday read. I can see this as a movie bringing smiles to everyone. Life couldn’t get much lower for Sybil. Her fiancé leaves her at the altar amidst a Star Wars themed wedding and runs off with her twin sister, and now there’s a chance, a great chance she will be on the hook for a huge money error at work. Really not wanting to face anything anymore, she packs up her little dog, Basil, and heads to Tindledale, a truly quaint little English village that when she steps off the train, she thinks she’s on a set for FROZEN. She’s eager to see her best friend, Cher, who will certainly help her see to making sure her life doesn’t get any more discombobulated but Cher is out of town, and the accommodations at the Duck & Puddle Pub, which Cher and her chef husband are now running, were highly lacking. With no other choice, she ventures to the Bed and Breakfast on the other side of the village. There she meets the incorrigible, Lawrence Rosenberg, host extraordinaire, and leader of the Tindledale Players. Lawrence sets her on the right path to discovering more about herself, her life, her desires, than she ever knew, and even encourages her to take a chance at love. Taking the road not traveled was the last thing she ever expected when she began her journey to Tindledale. With a cast of the most delightful, unexpected, funny, endearing, and simply lovely characters, I would love to live in a place like Tindledale. I fell in love with this book so fast it surprised me. Although, we are greeted with not one, but two states of despair…first with Hettie, and the prospect of her losing her precious House of Haberdashery in Tindledale, but then Sybil whose life is a complete disaster…Alexandra Brown manages to makes us smile and even laugh. I was sick as a dog with the cold from hell while reading this but I couldn’t have asked for a better escape into a warm, loving, and cozy read to make me feel better and smile. Okay, it’s sweet, most definitely, but its also romantic comedy at its holiday best. I can see this story being made into one of those wonderful feel good holiday movies that you want to take out once a year and watch it yet again. I can see reading this every holiday season for that feel good heartwarming experience too. I’m not a knitter, and it doesn’t matter but I would taking up knitting just to be invited to one of Syb’s and Hettie’s delightful natters…that seems to be what a gossip session is called in England. Tindledale is the most welcoming place on the planet, I think. Like I said, I’d love to live there. I highly recommend reading THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF by Alexandra Brown if you’re a fan of feel good, cozy holiday stories, funny clumsy kind of comedy, and I’ll clue you in…Sybil has everything come together for her and even has a hottie town doctor a little head over heels for her. Go ahead…take a trip to Tindledale and when it’s over, you can imagine your own HEA for Sybil. ***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
This book was funny and I fell in love with everyone.
Have a hankering for a great knitted adventure? Looking for a bit of Christmas romance? Or simply looking for a great novel to pass the time during the Christmas holidays? Then you might want to pick up The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown. Set in a charming English village of Tindledale, our stories main character, Sybil has left her old life in an effort to take a much needed escape from reality in hopes of finding herself and perhaps her sanity along the way. After her twin sister and her potential groom, left her standing alone at the altar at their Star Wars themed wedding set on May 4th, (as in May the Forth (or Force) be with you), wearing a Princess Leia costume complete with matching hair buns and cloak, she is still coming to terms with what has happened. I mean how does one get over having her sister steal her future husband? How do you handle family get togethers from that point on? Taking a break from life to head across the pond to visit her bestie Cher, she hopes for a reality check. I mean sometimes you just need your best friend to give you the advice no one else will. Talking to her parents doesn't help since they are stuck in the middle of the sibling wars. Armed with her small dog Basil and hoping to surprise Cher, she flies to London in the middle of the night, only to find that the town of Tindledale is so small they close at 4pm with the exception of the local Pub which Cher and her husband Clive own. Which means Sybil must hike it two miles in the dark on a winter's night in the snow, unsure of where she is going. She soon finds herself adopted by the entire town, from the mysterious man she meets on the train, the Lawrence, the owner of not only the local B and B but also the hair salon and head of the theater department. Being an avid knitter, she finds solace with Hettie, the owner of Hettie's House of Haberdashery where they strike up more than just a friendship. Is it possible to find a fresh start miles from where one started? I received The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. The believability factor that this could happen to anyone is what makes this one work in my mind. I absolutely love Lawrence, who is a bit of a fairy god-father to Sybil as she completely comes undone when she learns the bottle of wine she has packed has saturated all her clothes, left her make up bag and sleeping pills at home, she is a bit of a mess. It is no wonder she finds a sense of peace, when she is befriended by those in the town she meets. This one does contain some profanity that might offend some readers, but over all makes for an exceptional fun comedy to pass away the winter nights. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This is the fourth book in the Tindledale Series.
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.
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.)
Another entrant in the holiday pile, The Great Christmas Knit Off from Alexandra Brown is a read full of heart, humor and some wonderfully detailed knitted jumpers. While I’m not a huge knitter, although I can manage basic things, this fueled my desire for a warm and wooly moment of my own. Sybil is a wonderfully warm character, handed some tough moments but having the ability to move forward, despite them. She’s had a relationship fall apart, and she just may have been responsible for a major mistake at work. Thinking retreat is the better option, she packs her knitting, dog and a small suitcase and boards the train for the village of Tindledale, the perfect small-town escape. One of the early entries in the book is a map of the village proper, and with evocative names and place markers, the village becomes a secondary character at the outset. While on the train, Sybil encounters several Tindledale natives, all cleverly introduced with that feeling of long acquaintance, as in many small villages. Tindledale is the iconic small village: the residents are not internet savvy, mobile service is spotty at best, and everyone is aware of, if not overtly involved in the daily lives of friends and neighbors. A warm and welcoming place, perfect for a regroup. Brown quickly brings us to the nurturing sense of the village as Sybil, on an exploratory walk about the village meets Hettie, elderly proprietress of the Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, a shop dedicated to the art of needlework, particularly knitting. With Sybil’s obsession with knitting, the two have an instant rapport, but Hettie brings something more, a purpose and project for Sybil. Throughout the story, the characters offer friendship, advice and even some manipulations to bring a new outlook to Sybil, giving her a respite from the troubles she ran from. Paced with care, the story builds slowly with tremendous care, you can see the village, understand the people and even feel as if the jumpers and other knitted items are completing before your eyes. There is little not to like in this book, with a gradual romance starting to build for Sybil, her finding her footing in something she is never unsure about (her knitting) starts to build her confidence in other aspects of her life. Gradual development of characters giving them depth and breadth, settings that ring out to be visited and friendships that show every reader the potential of openness, honesty and true caring made this a read in one sitting book, and I’m now adding others by this author to my shelf. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.