The Friday Night Knitting Club is a lovely little word-of-mouth novel which seems to have been written just for the book group crowd. What doesn't The Friday Night Knitting Club have, to make it so perfect for discussion? There's a singular woman in the starring role, quirky, smart, gorgeous in a non-standard way. There's the group of equally interesting and vivacious--although perhaps not quite so attractive physically--women with whom she's surrounded herself. There's love lost and found again. There's young love and there's late in life love. There's betrayal, there's illness and yes, there's death. And, making it all possible, there's friendship.
Georgia Walker is the proprietress of Walker and Daughter, a cozy/trendy yarn shop in trendy/cozy Manhattan. Dakota is the daughter--a mixed race almost thirteen year old whom Georgia has raised alone. James is Dakota's father, a gorgeous (one really can't use the word gorgeous enough when talking about the people and things in this book) African-American architect who split when Georgia got pregnant and hasn't been seen since. When James walks back into Georgia's life on the same day that the friend who stabbed her in the back in high school also makes first contact, we know what we're in for.
It's a made for TV movie on the printed page.
Yet, how could one not be charmed? The characters are so beautifully and lovingly drawn that their problems--and gorgeous knitting projects-- become important to the reader, even as she feels her emotions being shamelessly manipulated. Yes, I cried. I mentally slapped myself for crying, but I couldn't help it; I truly loved these characters, and I felt their pain.
The Friday Night Knitting Club is recommended for fans of Eileen Goudge, Judy Blume, Patricia Gaffney, and other writers of thoughtful--yet easy to read--woman-centric fiction. It's not chick lit, but it's not exactly Joyce Carol Oates, either.