Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

The Friday Night Knitting ClubGeorgia has her hands full, juggling the demands of running her yarn store and raising her spunky teen daughter, Dakota, by herself. Thank goodness for Anita, her mentor and dear friend, and the rest of the members of the knitting club that meets every Friday when the shop closes for the day to talk, sample Dakota's baked treats and knit. The ladies are just as varied as the skeins of yarn in the bins: there's Peri, a prelaw student turned handbag designer; Darwin, a somewhat aloof feminist grad student; and Lucie, a petite, quiet woman who's harboring some secrets of her own. When unexpected changes throw these women's lives into disarray, and the shop's comfortable world gets shaken up like a snow globe they stand by each other and keep each other strong. And when the unthinkable happens they realize what they've created: not just a knitting club, but a sisterhood.

Hello, everybody! It's been a very relaxing week of much-needed down time after all the fun of the holidays but a girl can't spend too many hours lounging on the couch watching Sherlock reruns without missing her blogosphere buddies. So I'm happy to be back and today I bring you a wonderful book that kept me reading late into the night and even got me to cry on a couple of occasions.
It is the story of several women's journeys of self-discovery, self-realization and self-appreciation and the knitting lessons that accompany it highlight the life lessons the characters learn. The way the author talked about the craft in the first chapter, about learning it in childhood, the joy of it, it reminded me of learning needle crafts with my mom and after those first pages I couldn't stop reading. It was like I had a connection with these people and their stories mattered to me. And what stories they are! A single mother who made it as a business owner in New York City, a 12-year-old planning on taking over Martha Stewart's empire, a young woman who's supposed to go to law school secretly taking classes in fashion merchandising, a 40-year-old learning to love herself for the first time ever, and that's just the beginning.
I really enjoyed the little pearls of common sense wisdom mixed in here and there. They're nothing ground-breaking but every once in a while we all need to hear them. "Your life is what you make it", "And there’s always a better time than right now and there always will be. But right now is what we’ve got" and "Be your own safety and security" are my favorites.
I really liked the voice Jacobs used. It was so easy, so accessible, and it helped create some very real characters, showing them at their strongest and most vulnerable, and it was so touching to see them stand behind each other.
There were few things I had trouble with while reading this book. One was the trip to Scotland (it reminded me of Cameron Diaz's character's trek to England in The Holiday) and another was the vocabulary of some of the characters that didn't seem to fit. I could understand Georgia and Dakota using words like "nosh" and "kibosh" after spending so much time with the Jewish Anita, but I just couldn't see a Baptist black man who's spent the last decade in Paris or a Chinese-American woman from California talking like that. These are pretty minor things in the grand scheme of things though, (besides, I didn't live in New York, may be everyone talks like that there!) and they didn't spoil my overall impression of the book too much.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a quaint read full of strong yet believable characters to curl up with on a cold afternoon. The ending will most likely surprise you, and you might shed a tear, but if you're anything like me you'll turn the last page with your faith in people and friendship having received a solid boost.


  1. I got this in a kindle sale a few months book. I thought it was just fluffy chick-lit but your review makes me want to bump it up my TBR list a bit!

  2. My work here is done :D It's definitely chick-lit and it is fluffy at times but it's got heart so yeah, bump it up!

  3. Great review. I read this book a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. There's a sequel but I haven't been tempted yet to pick it up. Donna