Slowly but surely seems to be the name of this game...
My second of 26 books for 2011 is The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. While I'm pleased to have completed my second book while on a flight home from NYC last week, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I did so while tears streamed down my face. Yup, it's a book that tugs at the heartstrings alright. With that:
Friday Night Knitting Club is about a single mom named Georgia, and her pre-teen daughter Dakota, making their way through life and all it has to offer in the big city. Georgia is the owner of a relatively successful knitting shop in New York City, and the story follows her and the surprising friendships she forms with a group of women who come to her shop every Friday night as part of a knitting club. The story also brings in some antagonistic characters, including Georgia's ex-boyfriend and father of her child, James, and an estranged high school best friend named Cat.
As I called out above, this book did a great job of getting the old waterworks going (though not too difficult in my case, since I tend to overly relate to or empathize with characters...both real and imaginary). That's one thing I both like and dislike at the same time. On the one hand, I love being able to relate to characters and feel what they're going through, but on the other hand, I sometimes feel that it's unnecessary to cause your readers that much emotional turmoil while reading your books (hello, Jodi Picoult and My Sister's Keeper...arguably the saddest book I've ever read).
Despite some of its emotional moments, The Friday Night Knitting Club is touching and heart-warming. It drew me in from the start, and I found myself wanting to read more every night. The true hallmarks of a good book.
What I Liked
My favorite part about the book was the time Jacobs' dedicated to character development. I love when authors shift perspectives to offer thoughts from other key characters and really delve into them as people. Throughout the story, I became invested in all of the characters individually, not just Georgia and Dakota.
What I Thought Could Have Been Better
Without giving away too much, I'll just note that as it got closer to the end, I wanted things to slow down a bit.
1. Maybe I should take up a hobby like knitting.
2. Never underestimate the power of friendship.
Switching gears entirely, the third book will be The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in an Age of Terror.