Book Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club

Mood: Happy as a Bookworm

Lately, I have found myself doing a lot more reading than I have in the past 12 months. I have always enjoyed reading – it’s a great way to relax and it’s food for my mind – well, of the books I read, it’s more a great way to relax.

My most recently completed read is the debut novel by Kate Jacobs called The Friday Night Knitting Club. Here’s the synopsis of the novel from the official website:

As a single mom in her late 30s, Georgia has her hands full juggling the demands of running the Walker & Daughter knitting store with the challenges of raising her spunky teen daughter, Dakota. Georgia’s regular customers gather once a week to work on their latest projects and chat – and occasionally clash – about love, life, and everything else. The members of the Friday Night Knitting Club are as varied as the skeins of yarn in the shop’s bins. There’s Peri, a pre-law student turned handbag designer; Anita, a silver-haired uptown matron; Darwin, a somewhat aloof grad student; K.C., an out-of-work editor looking for inspiration, and Lucie, a petite television producer with a few surprises up her sleeve. But soon their quiet Friday nights are shaken up: James, Georgia’s ex, wants to play a larger role in Dakota’s life – and possibly Georgia’s as well. Cat, a former high school friend, uneasily renews her bond with Georgia. And when the unthinkable happens, all of Georgia’s customers are forced to realize they’ve created not just a knitting club, but a sisterhood.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book – the beginning was great, the end was pretty good, but the middle was a bit frustrating. And it was pretty obvious about a third of the way into the book what the "unthinkable" event was, and the minute my guess was confirmed, I also guessed what the outcome would be (which also turned out to be true).

In any case, it was a lovely read – a really lovely little escape. I enjoyed the picturesque Upper West Side Manhattan, the growth of each of the characters in the novel, and the development of the different relationships. I even felt the warmth of the knitting store called Walker & Daughter. The book also made me want to try my hand at knitting, although that phase should soon pass.

The book was, for want of a better word, cosy. Mainly because knitting always reminds me of my Por Por (Mum’s mother) who was a really good knitter. Pity the talent has managed to skip not one but two generations since!

Before a stroke paralysed her right hand side and took her speech away, Por Por use to knit these fantastic garments for my sisters and me. We had these great cardigans and scarves and mittens that were tailor made for us. I can still remember when, as a child, I would be asked to select my favourite button from Por Por’s big bag of buttons around autumn every year. The button would eventually find a few matching friends and end up on the front of my cardigan, which would be presented to me well before the weather got cold.

Back to the book. There are rumours that the novel is being made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts as Georgia. I am not able to find out much more about the movie, other than the movie is currently in production and the announced release date in the US is 6 June 2008. As much as I like Julia Roberts, I’m not sure about her as Georgia – I would have preferred to see someone like Maria Bello as the knitting shop owner. Guess I’ll have to wait for the movie to see if Julia Roberts does the character justice.

If you were looking for a nice little escape from the humdrums of life, I would highly recommend The Friday Night Knitting Club. Try it in your pyjamas with a steaming hot cup of tea and a packet of Tim Tams.


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