Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

I grabbed this book at a time when I was just ready for some frivolous reading. I suppose that's what I got ...

The Friday Night Knitting Club is about Georgia Walker, a yarn shop owner and single mother in New York City. She has taken care of her daughter on her own with the help of her older friend, Anita, and established her business. Her daughter, Dakota, is twelve during this story, and suddenly life starts to twist. Dakota's father starts to show up and want to be a part of her life for the first time ever. Around the same time, Georgia's old high school friend who stabbed her in the back over college discovers her shop and starts custom ordering $10,000 and $15,000 knitted gowns. The story mainly follows Georgia's life in this time, always anchored by the knitting club that meets in her store each Friday night along with all its participants. The story goes from New York to Scotland and back, and ends very differently than you would expect.

I'll be quite frank up front - I did not like this book. Like I said, I wanted something frivolous, and this book is proof that you should be careful what you wish for. First of all the premise of the book is so incredibly unrealistic. Georgia is pregnant and abandoned, knitting in Central Park when Anita sees her and mentions that she has friends who would pay highly for Georgia's skill in knitting. Anita backs a store for her where she just makes custom designs, then as the years go by she expands into selling yarn. As a knitter, I call foul right there. Do you know how long it takes to knit something to order like a sweater or a blanket? Particularly an intricate one? Even if you had no other job and only knitted all day, it would take at least a week. That's 4 items per month, and that's supposed to make enough money to not only pay rent in New York's Upper West Side but also pay for the owner's living? Um, I think not. The rest of the story is equally unrealistic and far too dramatic. It felt like I was reading the script of a Lifetime Network movie. I really wanted to at least look at this book as a guilty pleasure, but it really just lost me. I'll give you a hint. When the plot starts to mellow out, cancer is thrown in. Yeah. *sigh* You can't win 'em all. The story isn't just about the shop owner, but none of the side plots were convincing enough to save the main plot line for me. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.

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