Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Title: The Friday Night Knitting Club
Author: Kate Jacobs
Country: US (2007)
Pages: 343
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ***1/2

So here's the thing about The Friday Night Knitting Club - the book was given to me and I essentially had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just knew, when I picked it up from my stack, that I was looking for a fun chick-lit kind of book. In other words, the book version of a sitcom. After reading a couple of chapters in, I realized that I had not turned on a sitcom, but rather a dramedy. So, before I decided to pursue it any further, I hopped online to check out other people's reviews.

It was during this search that I read somewhere that FNKC was referred to as the Steel Magnolias of our time. Having completed the novel, I can see the similarities, but cannot do a fair comparison since I only watched Steel Magnolias (ed. note - is there a Steel Magnolias book?). I will say that the dialogue in FNKC cannot compare to the wit of SM, and lord knows Ouiser is one of a kind (ed. note - I initially spelled it Weaser, and then Weezer like the band. Did you know this was the correct spelling?) Oh, and evidently there will be a Friday Night Knitting Club movie starring, ayup, Julia Roberts.

But back to the book. The story centers around Georgia Walker, a middle-aged woman with a preteen daughter named Dakota. Georgia is also the owner of Walker & Daughter, a quaint little knit shop in NY which hosts itself as the main setting. It is at this shop that the Friday Night Knitting Group is formed. Anita, established Walker advocate and mentor, is the voice of wisdom to Georgia throughout the twists and turns of her life. Then there's KC, a longtime friend/acquaintance who visits the shop while making a drastic career change as well as Lucie and Darwin, who end up befriending one and another due to a run-in where they would both have rather remained anonymous. So where's the drama? Why it's when Georgia gets haunted by her devastating past. In walks Cat, Georgia's long ago best friend who betrayed her right after high school and James, father of Dakota, who walked out of her life as soon as she became pregnant.

The book is pretty believable and as a bonus, some useful "real life" words of wisdom is interspersed within the pages. One of my favorites came from Gran, Georgia's Scottish grandmother, who says:
"Stress is not about the situation, my dear, it's about the person. There's some who can handle it and there's some who can't."
FNKC is definitely about friendship and perseverance. It's about hope for the future and forgiveness of the past. The characters didn't always seem three-dimensional, but the issues made up for it.

At this point I'm not quite sure if I'll read Knit Two. I'm partly curious to see how Dakota has come along (evidently she's 18 in the sequel). Has anyone read either?

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