No, I don't knit. Nor do I live in Manhattan. But I am a woman who is lucky enough to have a group of long-time women friends who meet weekly. So of course, I absolutely fell in love with Kate Jacobs' Friday Night Knitting Club.
When I saw that Knit Two, the sequel, had been released I could hardly wait to download and read it.
I finished it a couple of days ago and sat down to write this review. I spent the next half hour or so staring a the title, cover art and a blank page. A classic case of writer's block. . . not something that ever happens to me. I finally got up and walked away.
Over the last couple of days I have idly wondered what the hell that was all about. I mean, I enjoyed the book. It was a pleasant and easy read that kept me entertained over the holiday weekend. So why was I at a loss for words?
I think I finally figured it out. I was disappointed. I wanted to love the book, but I just couldn't do it. Instead, I ended up with a mild case of like.
The first couple of chapters required a whole lot of work-- I had to go back into my memory bank a long way to find these characters and to remember why I cared about them. Once that was accomplished I was faced with these characters in their current incarnations.
Jacobs draws strong, fully rounded characters. These women are believable and almost stride off the pages into your real life. In fact they became so real that I found myself getting annoyed with them. Anita and Catherine in particular indulge in way too much angst and high drama for my taste.
I found, however, that my annoyance with the characters was vastly reassuring. I have certainly been annoyed with all the women in my group at one time or another. And I am sure they have been as annoyed with me. Face it, humans are often annoying!
The real problem with this novel is the plot; a real disaster. Now, coming from me, who can stretch credulity to extreme limits, this is a pretty amazing statement.
Knit Two, graphically reminded me that I prefer the classic "no discernable plot rambler" to a highly contrived plot with a neat and tidy resolution that has one in a million odds of actually ever happening that way.
Trust me, the plot stinks, but the book is worth reading for the characters. And no matter how I diss this story, when the inevitable third book in the series is published, I will read it too.
Here is the publisher synopsis:
Knit Two returns to the Manhattan knitting store Walker & Daughter five years after the death of the store's owner, Georgia Walker. Georgia's daughter Dakota is now an 18 year old freshman at NYU, running the knitting store part-time with the help of the members of the Friday Night Knitting Club.
Drawn together by their love for Dakota and the sense of family the club provides, each knitter is struggling with new challenges: for Catherine, finding love after divorce, for Darwin, newborn twins, for Lucie, being both a single mom and caregiver for her elderly mother, and for seventysomething Anita, marriage to her sweetheart Marty over the objections of her grown children. As Kate Jacobs returns to the world of Walker & Daughter, she's once again keyed into many of the stresses and joys of being a mother, wife, daughter and friend.
Every woman who picks up this book will see themselves in its characters¿the very thing that made The Friday Night Knitting Club such a huge word-of-mouth success. A true love letter to the power of women's friendships, and, of course, knitting, Knit Two is entertainment with a heart.