The Friday Night Knitting Club

By: Kate Jacobs
Friday Night Knitting Club Book 1
Fiction
2007
Subject Matter: Mothers and daughters; Female friendship; Knitters; Knitting; New York
Rating: 2/5

The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club isn’t bad.

It’s just a little trope.

My biggest problem with this chick-lit book is the main character (which is a pretty much insurmountable issue). I have a hard time connecting to books in which the protagonist is a self-deprecating martyr who in the midst of a chaotic and hard-knock life somehow makes everything turn out perfect. Georgia Walker isn’t necessarily a flawless character, but a character who is unerring and who is going to make everything work out no matter what.

It just makes me roll my eyes.

And I rolled my eyes a lot in this book.

My favorite characters (Lucie and Darwin) were great; they were well-written and highly flawed and lovable and funny and multi-dimensional. But they were minor characters, members of the eponymous Knitting Club.

The front of the book claims that this novel is “like Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan” according to a USA Today review.

Um.

In that it’s a book about disease (sort of…) and female bonding and pregnancy (also sort of…)? Sure.

In anything else? No. Definitely not.

It doesn’t make you feel for the characters, and it’s filled with cliches and overused metaphors.

I do have a little nugget of praise for Jacobs’s authorship style in this book, though. She has a fantastic way of switching between characters’ perspectives without announcing it. No italics, or “So-and-so thought”s, or third-person, just a seamless transition between point of view.

This did spell disaster at points though; there’s a fine line between connecting two scenes and making an eye-rolling connection between two scenes. Here’s what I’m talking about:

In the elevator, he pulled out his cell phone and scrolled through his contact list, hitting the dial button as he stepped out on the sidewalk.

“Hello, Mom?” he said as he strolled to the subway, his sports coat over his arm. “I was just wondering how you are…”

*****

Georgia slowly put down the phone in her office, then walked over to look at the knitted gown on her dressmaker’s model.

No. Georgia isn’t “his” mom. It’s just a weak attempt at a transition between scenes.

This kind of stuff drives me crazy. But, that said, The Friday Night Knitting Club series is super popular and well-sold.

So maybe it’s just me.

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*****

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Here are some suggestions for similar books:

(for similar female friendship themes)

Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling

(for more chick lit)

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

(for more by Jacobs)

Knit Two by Kate Jacobs

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

(for books about knitting)

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil

(for books about mother-daughter relationships)

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

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Coming up:

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

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