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Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herron

Naomis Wish by Rachael Herron Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herron

Naomis Wish'represents the third time this year Ive been tricked by a cover that is completely at odds with the contents of a book. The cover of Rachael Herrons latest may suggest a rural romance novel full of rough-housin cowboys, farmin, and plenty o big hats and them there stompin boots, but think again! Though it is indeed set in a country town, which is apparently enough to classify something as ru-ro these days, this book is all about lurve n knitting. Yes, were talking about a town obsessed with purl, yall. The American cover and title, Wishes and Stitches: a Cypress Hollow Yarn, portray this neatly enough, although it may underemphasise the romance element, but the Australian one misses the mark entirely, and I dont doubt that this obvious misrepresentation affected my enjoyment of the book.

Naomi Fontaine is Cypress Hollows doctorthe towns only doctor since her business partner has found that he quite likes taking sabbaticalsand shes finding it tough. Its not that shes not good at her job, as shes a dedicated practitioner whos never put a foot wrong, but its that her top-notch bedside manner doesnt extend beyond the examining room. Naomi makes your average computer programmer look like a social butterfly. But Naomi longs for acceptance, and every time she sits down to work on her wedding shawl project, she cant help but wonder whether she should out herself as a fellow knitter to the members of this, er, tight-knit community.

Enter Rig (yes, Rig), the new doctor in town. Not only does Rig have plans to buy out Naomis business partners half of the clinic, but he has designs on Naomi, too. Although, of course, he doesnt intend to buy her. But where Naomi is utterly socially inept, Rig specialises in friendly: within a few days hes the best buddy of half the town. But Naomis focused on her career and on living up to her dead fathers expectations of what makes for a good doctorwhich doesnt include making out with a fellow doctor in the window of the clinic. And tensions only mount when Naomis mischief-making sister and her mother show upboth unannounced, and both with news of their own. With all this going on, hows Naomi going to wrestle her way into a knitting circle?

Naomis Wish'is a prompt and zippy read full of the typical quaint and quirky small-town characters one expects from a novel set in the US south. But other than that its a little unsure as to its genre: it features many of the romance tropes, but also astonishing amounts of knitting. A quick google informs me that this is actually the third in a knitting-themed trilogy, but while Im used to cozy mysteries being filled with hobbyists stitching and scrapbooking and so on, it feels very odd indeed to read about a hero and heroine alternating between dropping stitches and dropping pants. Its not Naomis knitting habit thats so odd, exactly, its that the entire town apparently sits about knitting. Including the blokey farmers. They go to social events and knit! Their barbecues are all about knitting!

As you can see, Im quite perturbed by this knitting mania.

Bizarre knitting obsession aside, I found the novel a little difficult to get in to, in part because Naomis character, being so introverted, is hard to relate to. Her awkwardness makes for a number of scenes in which shes entirely passive, and there are also a few that rose my hackles a little, including one where she disbelievingly and utterly insensitively outs her assistant as gay. Im sure that this scene isnt meant to come across as intolerant, but it cant help but do so, and this made me recoil a little more from Naomis characterfortunately the slight twist at the end of the novel helps atone for this.

In all, I felt myself a little bamboozled by the novel: its sweet and saccharine at times (knitting, people!), and then theres all sorts of raunchy naughtiness going on. The doctor espouses progressive views about womens bodies and their right to choose, yet comes across at times as a homophobe. Add in a tough-to-believe secondary romance, and I felt as though I needed a winch to suspend my belief.

Still, I cant help but wonder how much of my reaction is based on the fact that I believed I was sitting down to read something entirely different from what I eventually got. Had I picked up a book with the US cover and title, I might have been quite ready for all that stitching and casting (albeit maybe not the bedroom shenanigans).

Rating: star Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herronstar Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herronhalfstar Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herronblankstar Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herronblankstar Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herron (not bad)

With thanks to Random House Australia for the review copy

Support Read in a Single Sitting by purchasing Naomis Wish'from

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US cover/title:

Wishes and Stitches by Rachael Herron Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herron

A reading guide/book club guide from the US publisher

Other books by Rachael Herron

A life in Stitches by Rachael Herron Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael HerronHow to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael HerronHow to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron Book Review: Naomis Wish by Rachael Herron


  1. Interesting Stephanie when I first saw this cover I thought it must have been a new Aussie rural fic author. A quick skim at Goodreads and it became obvious that it was American, part of a series and knitting seemed to be a big deal. The disconnect between this cover and its contents is really odd

    • Stephanie /

      Thats exactly what I thought, too, ShelleyraeI picked it up thinking that it could be an AWW2012 challenge book as the cover definitely has an Australian rural romance vibe.

  2. Brice Silas /

    Great review. I want to read this book. Thanks for this nice review.

  3. Im with Shelleyrae and you Stephanie, i thought it was Aussie rural lit too. I actually have Elizas Gift by this author on my TBR shelf- it has a rural front page tooi hope it actually reflects the story!

    • Stephanie /

      Elizas Gift is one of the earlier ones in this series, I think, Jayne, so get ready for some knitting!