Sunday, May 3, 2009

Julie's Review: Knit Two

Summary: Continuing the warm-and-fuzzy saga begun in her popular The Friday Night Knitting Club, Jacobs stitches together another winning tale of the New York City knitting circle, more a sisterhood than a hobby group (the irascible Darwin Chiu can't even really knit). In this installment-and it does feel like an installment-readers catch up five years after the unexpected, book-capping death of club leader (and knitting shop owner Georgia Walker. Georgia's 18-year-old Dakota is at NYU, discovering her first love, while her father James and Georgia's best friend Catherine are still coming to terms. The rest of the cast runs a wide gamut of ages and experience, but is easier to follow this time around, as Jacobs is more comfortable giving them more space and backstory. Pregnant, whip-smart professor Darwin and her husband, Dan, are welcoming twins; video director and single mom Lucie is coping with a hyperactive 5-year-old and a failing parent; Georgia's old mentor, the wise Anita, begins questioning her own motives; and everyone's stories cross paths in satisfying, organic ways. A trip to Italy provides some forward motion, and pays off in a charming denouement that nevertheless pushes a familiar it's-the-journey-not-the-destination message; still, this sequel is as comforting, enveloping and warm as a well-crafted afghan.

Review: Knit Two is better than The Friday Night Knitting Club. We jump 5 years ahead and we are quickly brought up to speed pretty quickly on all of the characters we are introduced to in the first one. What I want out of a sequel is to see some growth in the main characters and we definitely get that. The one that grows the most though is Catherine and that was very refreshing to see since it would have been easy to write her as a stereotype. I also love the change that comes about in Darwin after she becomes a mom. It's almost like she "gets" it now. The one I relate the most to is Lucie. Now I'm not a single mom but anyone who has a strong-willed child will see where she's coming from.

There are some twists and turns in the book which is refreshing and invigorating. We learn more about Anita and actually meet her son Nathan when he shows up to keep Anita from making a huge mistake.

Dakota is refreshing as an 18 year old who is stuck in between trying to find out who she is and trying to live up to the Club and her dad's expectation of her. She and James are trying to still get to know each other and he's trying to fill the gap of having lost her mom. What James needs to figure out is that it's ok to grieve and it's ok to not try to be everything. He's also trying to make up for the 12 years that he was not in Dakota and Georgia's life.

The climax of the book is satisfying and yet I did see one twist coming in about the middle of the book. I actually wouldn't mind if Ms. Jacobs decides to revist this group of fantastic women in the future.

Final Take: 4.5/5

Friday Night Knitting Club Review


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