Michele's Reviews > The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
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Jun 26, 2007

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Read in March, 2007

Knitting is a Nice Device, But . . .
The idea of a knitting group--a group of women gathering on a regular basis forming bonds of friendship and sharing life experiences--was the alluring premise of this book, and the reason I bought it. That's definitely what this book is. But is it a riveting story? Did I fall in love with the characters and turn pages with eager anticipation to see how the story would play out? No and no. I struggled turning pages of this book as much as I'd probably struggle trying to knit a sweater. This was like the waste of expensive yarn, a piece crafted with a big idea and little talent.

The writing isn't bad, but I wouldn't describe this effort as "well-written." It's average at best, lacking originality or memorable prose, and I felt it was littered with clichés and contrived dialog. As for story, it's primarily character-driven with focus on the main character, Georgia Walker, a single mother who owns a yarn shop/knitting business on the upper west side of Manhattan. The club consists of her daughter Dakota, a bi-racial 12-year-old, who flits in and out of the club with baked goods and entrepreneurial ambitions, and is as charming and annoying as any 12-year old; a widow named Anita who is Georgia's "mentor;" an "academic" named Darwin (who annoys everyone in the club as well as this reader); a 40-year-old single woman (who I believe works on a documentary about the knitting club) who fools a date into getting her pregnant; an aspiring purse designer and part-time worker in the shop; a woman in her mid-40s hoping to get into law school; and probably the most entertaining character, Georgia's childhood friend Cat (nee Cathy) who is an uptown socialite on the verge of divorce. When she's on the page, at least there's some conflict you can sink your teeth into.

Dakota's father, James, returns to Georgia's life in this tale, and is a cardboard character who fails to charm the reader as much as he seemingly charms everyone else. And Georgia's grandmother, a 90-something Scottish sage comes into play as a touchstone to...something. I think Georgia's visit abroad is supposed to be really important but it wasn't until page 260 when Georgia receives some life changing news that the question, "What IS this book ABOUT?" had an answer.

The Friday Night Knitting Club is a debut novel and I believe it has a first novel feel. It made me think, "nice effort and good for the author for getting it published;" however, I cannot recommend it. There was, however, one quote from the book I thought was rich, and this was in regard to mother-daughter relationships: ". . . what these daughters really wanted was to be able to bare their souls to the one person in the world who would love them without restraint, whose approval was priceless, who would find them and their myriad life issues endlessly fascinating." If my daughter wrote this book, I would indeed be proud of her.
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06/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Tammy Excellent summation of a book that I too struggled to take interest in.

Michele Thanks, Tammy. I don't like posting negative reviews because I tend to have great empathy for writers...but sometimes I just can't help it! I appreciate your comment.


Julie M Yes, I agree with the above commenters. Your review helped me decide to put down this book before I wasted any more time on it. Thanks, Tammy!

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Just what I wanted to say about this book but I couldn't bring myself to use anymore of my time on this books behalf.

Heidi Pikula Well said. I agree with you on all points.
Thank you for your honesty.

Monique A well written summary, much better written than the book. I'm in agreement that the book itself is a "nice device" and in my mind, should have been a better read than it was.

Jane Obviously, you have not participated in a knitting group. The dynamics can be interesting. I enjoyed this book for some of the reasons you disliked it. Admittedly I enjoy some escapism in my reading.

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