Sunday, May 25, 2008

Julie's Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club

Summary: Between running her Manhattan yarn shop, Walker & Daughter, and raising her 12-year-old biracial daughter, Dakota, Georgia Walker has plenty on her plate in Jacobs's debut novel. But when Dakota's father reappears and a former friend contacts Georgia, Georgia's orderly existence begins to unravel. Her support system is her staff and the knitting club that meets at her store every Friday night, though each person has dramas of her own brewing. Jacobs surveys the knitters' histories, and the novel's pace crawls as the novel lurches between past and present, the latter largely occupied by munching on baked goods, sipping coffee and watching the knitters size each other up. Club members' troubles don't intersect so much as build on common themes of domestic woes and betrayal. It takes a while, but when Jacobs, who worked at Redbook and Working Woman, hits her storytelling stride, poignant twists propel the plot and help the pacing find a pleasant's Weekly

Review: I picked up The Friday Night Knitting Club based on a bunch of great reviews in the blogging world and I wasn't disappointed. I don't knit and don't think that you have to, to enjoy the book. My aunt knits and I've been to the knit shop that she buys her supplies from many times and that's what I kept picturing in my head while reading. I liked the fact that Ms. Jacobs had an inter-racial relationship as one of the main focuses in the book; although I feel like she could have explored the issues that a bi-racial child would face a little more, but there's only so much you can write about in one book. She also brings up the issues a bi-racial couple would encounter but then drops them with an easy out in my opinion. I enjoyed all the characters in the book but didn't fall in love with any of them. I liked how Ms. Jacobs let each female's story be told over time, you didn't get the full story at once. What I thought was great was how the only thing that these women had in common at first was knitting but that it developed into much more over the course of the book. You can bond over one thing and find out that your have so much else in common. I have a few friends that has happened with and it's wonderful to discover friendships in places you wouldn't have guessed.

I felt like the book's ending was rushed and, while I was satisfied with the ending, I think there could have been more to the story. I thought Cat's storyline wrapped up too nice and neat for the struggles someone in her situation might have happen to them. I enjoyed the style in which Ms. Jacobs wrote the novel and how knitting was central in the beginning of every chapter and even used knitting needles to separate breaks in the chapter. I thought that was quite clever.

SPOILER: My problem with books like this is that they bring in the big "C" and have a main character die from it. What would be more interesting and inspirational is if the person survived and how it changes their life. I know that the statistics for Ovarian cancer aren't very
favorable but I also do know people survive it too.

Overall the book is a great testament to female friendships and the things that bind us together.

Final Take: 4.25/5


Anonymous ,  May 30, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

When I spoke to the author over the phone during our book club meeting to discuss FNKC, we asked her about the ending. Apparently this disease has some signifigance in her personal life and she wanted to bring awarence to the issue. I too enjoyed the book and found her second one, Comfort Food, to be just as well written.

Julie May 30, 2008 at 10:16 PM  

I really liked it and will probably read Comfort Foods. I know a lady who had ovarian cancer,had it reoccur and survive it. She just needs to write a book about blogging about books. ;)


Susan June 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM  

I totally agree about using the "C" thing. It ruined the book for me, because it made the ending so cliche and sappy.

I enjoyed Comfort Food much more than FKNC.

Julie June 2, 2008 at 9:27 PM  

Good to know. Thanks Susan!

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