This month’s book review features The Friday Night Knitting Club, written by Kate Jacobs. If you knit, you will love this book. If you wish you could knit, you will enjoy this book, and likely go out and buy yourself a lovely skein of yarn and needles. If you don’t knit, but enjoy reading books written for women, you will like this book, and find yourself wishing you knew how to knit. If you are a man and you knit, you might like it ~but really, this book is more attuned to the female persona.
The main character, Anita Walker, is a survivor of tough times raising her biracial daughter, Dakota, alone. Through the good fortune of meeting an altruistic woman, and Anita’s own hard work, she is now a most successful knit shop owner. Her shop, Walker and Daughter, located in New York City, attracts women of all ages and life-styles who form a Friday night knitting club. As they knit and purl together, the threads of their lives entwine, creating a beautiful fabric of friendship and love. I soaked up the sensual descriptions of yarn and lovely knitted things, the cozy shop with the upstairs apartment, the connected feeling of fellow knitters, and traveled with Anita and her daughter to Scotland for a visit with her sage grandmother. From one conversation with her granddaughter, whom she never previously met, came this: “It’s always a challenge to work out the best way to live your life, and as much as everyone tells you what to do, ultimately how you do things is up to you.” So matter-of-fact, yet I wish someone had told me this once upon a time.
As each of these women meet the challenges of their lives, the story unfolds beautifully as a fine fabric you will want to feel, and as you do so, it will touch your heart.
A few critiques I read of this novel stated it to be slow, boring, and even poorly written. But in this reader’s opinion, this book, having made it to the New York Times Bestseller list, fits none of these descriptions. The only thing that would make this novel better would be the addition of one more character: a furry, four footed one with pricked ears and a waggy tail. Alas, there is neither dog nor cat in the lives of any of these characters ~ perhaps in the sequel, Knit Two, now on bookstore shelves. We dog lovers can only hope.