I don’t knit – I’m actually quite hopeless at anything involving stitchery, really – so I was a bit leery about reading The Friday Night Knitting Club. But by the end of that book, I was desperate to find a knitting shop just like Walker and Daughter, where I might learn not only how to cast on and purl, but also find an eclectic assortment of interesting, imaginative, suppotive women to be my friends. It was one of those books which I was loath to finish, simply because I was reluctant to say good bye to Georgia, Dakota, Anita, Catherine, Darwin, Peri, and KC.
Guess what?? They’re BACK!!
Yes indeed…in Knit Two (scheduled for publication on November 25, 2008) Kate Jacobs brings the reader back into the lives of The Friday Night Knitting Club, five years after the death of it’s founder, Georgia Walker. I spent the last two beautiful autumn days deeply engrossed in my ARC copy of this book, carrying it around the house with me, plopping down into a chair whenever I had a moment, holding it open in one hand whilst stirring spaghetti sauce with the other.
I admit – I’m a pure sucker for books about women’s friendships. And while I never did learn how to knit, or find my own version of Walker and Daughter, I was fortunate enough to find membership in a similar type of club, albeit with a completely different focus. I’m a musician, and a few years ago I was part of an ensemble of 13 women who met weekly to rehearse for five hours, and then traveled the country giving concerts. Spending hours and hours together, in pursuit of a common goal, is a tried and true way to form unique bonds and lasting friendships, and we were no exception. We laughed and cried together, commiserated over bad relationships and problem children, kept (and spilled!) a few secrets, and bolstered each other’s egos and spirits. (Hmmm…perhaps there’s a book in there somewhere??)
I resigned my membership in the musical group about five years ago, but I’m still good friends with several of the members, and I occasionally pop in to substitute for someone during rehearsal or even a concert. It’s always wonderful to catch up with everyone’s news, although a bit of a shock sometimes to be reminded of how time marches on…how someone has lost a parent, or gotten divorced, or become a grandmother, or lost (or gained!) weight since I last saw them.
That’s a bit what it was like to read Knit Two – at least for the first few chapters while Jacobs deftly catches the reader up on all that’s happened to the Club during the past five years. And it’s significant, believe me. After all, Dakota’s now in college and planning her life (when we left her, she was a just a pre-pubescent teenager!) But soon enough, the reader settles in and becomes completely caught up in the current goings-on. There are new babies to meet, careers on the rise, a wedding being planned, a long lost sibling to discover, a trip to Italy, and new love interests all over the place.
Knit Two was exactly the kind of book I needed to read this weekend. After the past week, with all the doom and gloom in the news, the unrest in the world (and in my financial status!), immersing myself in the life and adventures of the Knitting Club members was like soaking in a warm, comforting bubble bath.
Or, like spending the weekend with a bunch of good friends. Jacobs does a fabulous job of bringing these characters to life, and creating concerns for them with which we can immediately identify. Perhaps what we need in these troubled times are stories like this, that remind us of the truly lasting and important things in life – our relationships with family and friends.
The diehard knitters might be a bit disappointed, for there is considerably less about knitting in this book than in the first novel – that is, unless you count the intricate stitches of these women’s lives, woven together in a warm tapestry of caring, concern, support, and love.
Knit Two was a wonderful way to cast myself back into the live of the Walker and Daughter group, to recall my own days as part of vibrant group of women sharing friendship and life, and to help put aside the worries and cares of modern life for a few hours.
I envy all of you who have this experience ahead. *smiles*