Friday Night Knitting Club By Kate Jacobs
The Friday Night Knitting Club by author Kate Jacobs appears to me to be the first book in a series. It is very much like the popular series of quilting novels by Jennifer Chiaverini - but this one is a group of knitters. Set on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the story revolves around Georgia Walker and her daughter Dakota. Georgia owns a knitting shop, and it is here that most of the story takes place. It would actually be easier to criticize this novel than to recommend it; the names of states for the mother and daughter – the daughter the result of an affair with a black man, and Georgia who is white, so the child is bi-racial being raised alone by a white mother until the father re-appears 12 years on. But, for all it's faults this is a "good read" - a sort of made-for-TV-movie in print. An escape - perhaps not one to brag about - but if you are looking for something to pass the time, not demanding in any way, this novel is a good choice.
In spite of my moans and groans about predictability and stereotypes, I was drawn into the story and wanted to know what was going to happen to these characters. And because there is a good cast of characters - there is sure to be at least one that any reader could relate to. One of my favorites is Anita - a wealthy Park Avenue widow who, in the lonely days after the death of her husband, becomes more and more involved in the shop - and the lives of Georgia and Dakota - a sort of surrogate mother and grandmother. Anita is attracted to Marty who runs the local deli, and their growing friendship is a lovely part of the novel.
The women who become the most regular members of the Friday Night Knitting Club are diverse and all reveal interesting and challenging lives as the reader comes to know them more intimately than they do each other.
This book was recommended to me by a knitter - and I suspect that for women who knit - a craft very popular once again - it would be even more fun to read that it was for me.
As Kate Jacobs says, "Knitting is booming! An old tradition made new, taken up by movie stars and teenagers and busy career women alike. There is something so soothing and stress-relieving as the needles click clack; you can absolutely feel the tension in the brain unwind."
Ms Jacobs grew up in Hope, British Columbia, and attended Carlton University in Ottawa before moving to New York City where she worked as an assistant to the books and fiction editor at Redbook. She learned about the business of books before writing her first novel.
This is a writer with a mission – she has created an exhaustive website - an online Friday Night Knitting Club. The point of her website – to build a community between readers, just as the characters in the story build connections with each other, encourages readers to share the novel with their book clubs.
Ms Jacobs feels very strongly about the importance of communities of women.
She says "when I sat at my computer and wrote this novel, I took all of these things – the wealth of relationships in my life, the memory of my knitting grandmothers, and my love of New York – to build what I hope is the warm and welcoming world of The Friday Night Knitting Club."
All very good marketing I'd say.