Friday, March 13, 2009

The Friday Night Knitting Club

By Kate Jacobs

Not unlike the Shop around the Corner in the movie You’ve Got Mail, only with yarn instead of books, Walker and Daughter is a cute, little knitting shop hidden in the deep recess’s of New York City’s Upper West Side, run by single mom Georgia and her twelve-year-old daughter Dakota. It’s a place where a potential sale is never denied, where the door is never fully shut until well after closing time and the last straggler has had a moment to muse and ponder over the choice of wool or cotton. A place where not just stray pieces of yarn gather, but friends; women with virtually nothing in common but one general purpose: to knit together something in their lives.

Georgia and her precocious daughter are not alone in their efforts. There’s her mentor and stand-in mother, Anita, a well-established-in-life sort of friend; Peri, a pre-law student with a penchant for knitting handbags; Lucie, a tv producer who’s lost her way; Darwin, an annoying graduate student; and Georgia’s old high school friend Cat, a Pamela Anderson sort of socialite on the verge of divorce. Like a knitted scarf wrapped tightly around your neck on a blustery day, so it is with these women in a time of crisis. The yarn is what holds it together and keeps out the cold.

The Friday Night Knitting Club is Steel Magnolias with but a different disease and location; How to Tie an American Quilt with yarn instead of fabric blocks; the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but without the rebuilding of a mother-daughter relationship and the cool chant. I liked all of these books, FNKC included, which follow a central theme: make the most of one’s life while you have it and a sisterhood can conquer all.

Aside from the constant use. of. sentence. fragments. and occasionally getting bogged down in the minutiae of the character’s past lives, overall I felt the story moved along these points well-enough. The author milks to the last drop every emotional moment she can, and I felt literally sucked dry at times, almost forced against my will to feel more sentimental towards the characters, even though sometimes I didn’t want too. Sometimes these characters just weren’t likeable, but hey, they’re New Yorkers! What did I expect! *cough*

Did I take something from this book? Sure, be grateful for the friends you have, and take up a skill that uses your fingers, and most of all, be sure to shave your legs and change your underwear everyday. You never know what will happen, for good, and bad. 3 Stars


Stephanie said...

Argh! I am so torn about this book! In general, I don't care for the Steel Magnolia genre of books and movies. They all feel so formulaic to me. I always finish them teary, but mildly outraged because I feel like I have been manipulated.

On the other hand, this book was just so darn readable, and who doesn't think sisterhood is just awesome?

I'm thinking 2-1/2 to 3 stars for me...

The Bradfords said...

"Who doesn't think sisterhood is just awesome?" ---That is a great quote, Stephanie. I'm writing it down in my collection of quotes. I will be reading this book in the next couple of weeks and I'm wondering if I'll want to knit something when I'm done.

Tanja said...

I did not want to knit, but that is because I stink at that kind of stuff. Suzette, you will want to knit. I loved the idea that all these women came from different backgrounds and eras, yet they found a way to connect and help eachother through life. There are days that if I did not have my own little "knitting" club I would probably have a nervous breakdown.

Lula O said...

Eric knows how to knit with his fingers. If I pay him a million dollars I'd bet he'd teach us how. He loves it when women gather around him...not! But I would love to watch him squirm. It's like my second favorite thing to do.