The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Chick book!

The blurb on the front of the trade paperback edition declares this novel is “Like Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan.”  As one might expect from a book earning such a description, there is a plethora of interesting, complex female characters leading complicated lives:  Georgia is a single mother, raising a pre-teen daughter and running a small knitting shop.  Anita is a matronly aging widow who is reluctantly falling in love again after 20 years.  Lucie is a struggling filmmaker who decides to become pregnant on her own despite financial insecurity.  KC is Georgia’s boisterous ex-boss who decides on a risky career change while in her 40s.  Darwin is a socially awkward graduate student who really just wants a friend, and Cat is Georgia’s traitorous ex-best friend from high school who makes a surprise re-entrance into Georgia’s life at an inopportune time.  Throw in a few peripheral male love interests and a heart-wrenching climax and the chick book recipe is complete!  This book is just begging to be made into a movie and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that negotiations are already underway.

The plot and characters in this book are adequate — mildly entertaining — interesting enough to keep reading but nothing extraordinary.  The thing that makes this book stand out is the knitting theme which serves as a frame for the plot.  The women in the novel are brought together by their interest in knitting and decide to meet every Friday night at Georgia’s shop for knitting help, homemade food and companionship.  The book itself is also brought together in segments prefaced by descriptions of knitting techniques and each process is analyzed in a way as to make it relevant to everyday life.  The most significant thing I took away from this book is a strong desire to learn how to knit!

The book is very reflective in nature, sometimes in the thoughts of one of the characters, at other times sentimental musings and observations of the narrator that occasionally felt like fluff.  There was one such passage though that really surprised me in its insightfulness regarding the friendship between a mother and her grown daughter.  I suspect that other readers may be inspired by some of the other reflections, depending on what is relevant in their own lives.

This is Kate Jacob’s first novel.  The Friday Night Knitting Club is available at noteBooks in trade paperback for $14.00.

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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