Sunday, November 8, 2015

Aloha to Alexandra Brown and THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF - Book Review


Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.

There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…

Keep calm and knit on. - Sybs (Sybil)

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF opens with Hettie (in Tindledale) skimping on her lunch and worrying about the growing pile of bills.  She does not want to relocate to an old folks home so her nefarious nephew could sell her
House of Haberdashery in a real estate deal.  Meanwhile, Sybs (in London) is a shell of her former self after her fiance ran away with her twin sister.  She also suspects she is the reason for a 40,000 pounds clerical error at work.  With Christmas just around the corner, Sybs escapes to Tindledale for the weekend to visit her school friend.  Upon arrival in the postcard perfect village, she finds everything that is not London - friendly townsfolk who are willing to help her.  In turn, Sybs wanders into Hettie's House of Haberdashery, a wonderland for any knitting enthusiast.  It awakens Sybs' passion for yarn which she employs to save Hettie's business.  Sybs restores Hettie's self esteem along with her own.

Brown creates magic in THE GREAT CHRISTMAS KNIT-OFF.  Although it could be the Hallmark holiday movie of the week, it delivers humor, warmth, and cheer in the English countryside.  The plot may be predictable, but the characters are colorful.  Sybs, in particular, shines bright like a Christmas ornament.  Even though she has been through hell, Sybs remains optimistic when helping others.  Her focus outward helps her heal inward.

I am not a knitting enthusiast but I could still enjoy the fun during the "knitting days"; everyone in town helped out. Brown reminds us of the Christmas message - hope, community, and forgiveness.  Sprinkle in pop culture, rustic charm, and a budding romance with the country doctor for heartwarming story for the coming holidays.

Recommended read for fans of British Chick Lit, small town romance, and cheering for underdogs.

I received a print copy from the publisher.

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Christmas sweaters - do you have a hand knitted one?  Or a goofy one?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 14, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 15.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Alexandra and her books at

No sweater needed in Hawaii ...


  1. I have one my Mom knitted me a great many years ago and also a shawl she knitted too I love them both, LOL I can't get into the sweater but I can still wear the shawl.
    I knit too I love it,.

  2. I have a couple of goofy ones and I have some real nice ones.

  3. No goofy ones here. I have Christmas vests. It is usually too warm for a full sweater.

  4. None of my sweaters are hand knitted - they take too much time & yarn. I stick to knitting for babies and children.

  5. I actually don't have one but I've always wanted a goofy one :)

  6. I have both a hand knitted one and one that is goofy.

  7. I don't have a Christmas sweater however I love Christmas socks :)
    I also have a dear friend whose sister has an ugly Christmas sweater contest every year around this time of the year.
    Have a wonderful day,

  8. Years ago I bought a red Christmas sweater with a white deer on it. Very simple and tastefull I find it. The idea of a special sweater for xmas always appealed to me, but there are so many "loud ones" available. My white deer is more a classic version, that will last me many Christmasses for sure :-D

  9. I have a few very nice Christmas sweaters, but they are not hand knitted.

  10. I don't have any hand-knitted sweaters. I got rid of all my Christmas sweaters.


  11. I don't have any Christmas sweaters. It's never cold enough down here in southern Florida.

  12. Don't have a handknit Christmas sweater and the Christmas sweaters I do have ....Well ... I don't think they are goofy

  13. I don't really have any Christmas sweaters. It's usually too warm here to wear a sweater at Christmas. Now fun, goofy, embroidered Christmas vests.... I've got a few. ;-)

  14. I wish I had a goofy Christmas sweater!

  15. I have a goofy one. I got it for an "ugly Christmas sweater" charity walk a few years ago. It isn't ugly.....just a bit goofy with a dog and a present on it.

  16. I don't believe I have ever owned a Christmas crazy is that?!