The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs is a touching tale of women joining together in a common love of knitting and each other.
Georgia Walker is a single mom whose life revolves around her 12-year-old daughter, Dakota, and her small knitting shop, Walker and Daughter, in Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Her life is busy, but lonely. But all that's about to change in ways she never expected.
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The Friday Night Knitting Club starts rather organically, with several of Georgia's friends turning up at the shop, chatting and working on their knitting projects.
There's Anita, who got Georgia started in the knitting business by buying her first custom knit projects and helped her open the shop. Peri, who works in the shop, is working on a line of hand-knit handbags while taking classes in pre-law.
Georgia's friend from her former life in the publishing world, K.C., comes to hang out but isn't very good at knitting. Television producer Lucie is a whiz knitter, and quieter than many of the other people at the shop. And Darwin is a grad student in women's studies who initially comes to the shop because she wants to figure out why women would knit when it is so against her idea of feminism and what women should be doing with their time.
"Aren't you disturbed that the renewed popularity of knitting is an alarming throwback?" Darwin asks Georgia. "Can women who fritter away time on old-fashioned activities such as knitting realize their full professional potential?
Clearly someone just doesn't get.
As the book opens, two people from Georgia's past come back into her life. The first is James, Dakota's father. He's never met Dakota and spent most of her life working in France.
Georgia is skeptical about James' motives and reluctant to let Dakota spend much time with him, especially because it seems like he is trying to buy her affections.
The second person from her past to turn up on her doorstep is Cat Phillips, formerly known as Cathy Anderson. Georgia and Kathy were best friends in high school, but they haven't talked in decades.
Now she's a frustrated socialite looking for a stunning hand-knit dress to wear when she divorces her husband.
Life is changing for all the regulars at Walker and Daughter, and the knitting club gives them a way to share their struggles and triumphs and to challenge each other to try something that scares them.
In the end there is a lot to celebrate, and much to grieve as well. It's a bittersweet story that's a little predictable but with mostly happy endings.
Though the plot of the book is somewhat slow in places, these characters are worth getting to know. You'll enjoy your time at Walker and Daughter and getting to know these strong and wonderful women.