I recently joined a little book club on Facebook. The first book was The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. One of the benefits of participating in a book club is the opportunity to read something you may have never read or even heard about otherwise. The Friday Night Knitting Club was that book for me. I hadn't heard of it prior to it being mentioned in the book club and had I seen it on the shelf in the store, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance.
I read a lot, quite a lot. If you ask me how a book was, I'm going to have more to say than "It was good." or "It was bad." This is the first book review I'm doing here on my blog, it probably won't be the last.
Before I give you my thoughts on the book, let me tell you a little bit about it and it's characters. The main character is Georgia Walker. She's funny, smart, successful, a good mom and a good friend. Georgia found herself pregnant and alone at 24. The thought of going back home to her parents is enough to drive her mad. Sitting on a park bench, crying and knitting a baby blanket for the life growing inside of her, she meets Mrs. Lowenstein...and her life changes forever.
The story of The Friday Night Knitting Club actually starts 13 years later. Georgia has opened up a knitting boutique downstairs from her apartment. Her daughter, Dakota, is smart and beautiful and full of spunk. Georgia's heart was broken 13 years prior by Dakota's father James. His mother told him to never bring a white woman home...and he left pregnant Georgia without a word.
Mrs. Lowenstein is Georgia's stand-in mother, mentor and financier. She lost her husband to a heart attack. She has no need for money, but works at Georgia's shop, Walker and Daughter.
Cat is Georgia's estranged best friend from high school. She's become a socialite and is in an unhappy marriage. She's returned to Georgia's life trying to make amends for the past.
Also trying to make amends for the past is James. He returns out of the blue one day to "fall in love with his family".
There's a HUGE cast of secondary characters who each have their own stories. What results is a group of women who meet every Friday night in the name of knitting. When the unthinkable happens, these women discover they haven't just created a knitting club...they've created a sisterhood.
Here's what reading The Friday Night Knitting Club reminded me of: Every once in a while I get the chance to eat out at a diner. There's always so many choices on the menu, I have a hard time making up my mind. I end up going with a cheese steak. It shows up on a plate and it looks okay, but it's not the best looking cheese steak I've ever seen and I mentally kick myself for not going with a safer diner choice, like an omelette. I take a bite of my diner cheese steak and decide it isn't as bad as it looks. Long about bite number three, I begin to think about what else I could have ordered, so I squirt a puddle of ketchup on my plate and dip the cheese steak into it after each bite. Then I start to like my diner cheese steak again. Ketchup can fix just about anything.
There was just enough ketchup in this book to keep me reading it. It wasn't as good as it could have been. The writing is okay. There's so many damn characters and so much attention to developing every character that I wondered if the story would ever go anywhere. The book is full of overdone fragments and inconsistencies, which annoys the hell out of me. All in all, it was a so-so diner cheese steak kind of book. It's your classic chick lit. It's a very easy read and has a feel-good story. Without giving anything away, there's a twist thrown in at the end that isn't very feel-good, but even still I finished the book with that feel-good feeling.
Would I recommend it to a friend? Eh...probably. Would I recommend it to my mother? Probably not. I don't think she could get past all the 4 letter words. I can have a pretty filthy mouth when it suits me, but the foul language was seriously overdone in The Friday Night Knitting Club.
Want to learn to knit yourself? Check out Home Made! There's even a Yarn Club. :)
*Image credit: TheFridayNightKnittingClub.com