Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club

It was hard for me to finish this book, especially the last 15 pages or so, but I did. Harder still to write a book review because I’m horribly conflicted between liking some portions of the story and despising some parts.

‘The Friday Night Knitting Club’ by Kate Jacobs is the story of a group of women who meet in a yarn shop called Walker and Daughter. The owner, Georgia Walker, is a single mother to a precocious preteen girl, Dakota. She raises her with the help of her best friend, Anita. On Friday nights after the shop has closed Georgia, Anita, Dakota and several patrons who have become friends gather for food, knitting, conversation and company.

Insert into this harmonious mix Dakota’s long absent father, James and Georgia’s former best friend from high school, Catherine aka Cat who is now the trophy wife of a New York businessman and our saga is almost complete.

So, what I liked most in the book was the friendships between the women. I liked how supportive they are with one another without all the stereotypical back stabbing found in many books. It was a tad idyllic, yes. However, having a couple of girl friends I can count on for anything myself, it’s something I appreciated within the story.

Anita was a character I found myself adoring. Her choices through out the book were solid, reasonable and understandable. Even in her moments of hesitation and uncertainty, she was true to the values Jacobs set up for her. She was my favorite character.

I enjoyed how James came back into the picture. He was humble about his past mistakes. Anytime he stepped beyond what Georgia was comfortable with in regards to boundaries, he stepped back and respected her wishes as Dakota’s primary caregiver. I thought it was a good example of parents working together, even if reluctantly at first, to do what was best for their child. If only things worked that way in the real world more often.

I even enjoyed the almost too sticky sweet knitting lessons placed in between several chapters. Used as metaphors for each stage of the book along with thinly veiled life lessons, I found them sweet.

My favorite moment in the book happened as Dakota states her Mother’s life lessons for Cat as she desperately needs to learn them as an adult woman. Always be your own safety and security. A person should always have credit in their own name. And life is what you make if it are very similar to the life lessons my Mum taught me and my sister as well as lessons I try to teach my own children.

The character Cat bothers me greatly. I understand she stole Georgia’s place at a prestigious College and while that’s morally wrong, okay fine. Cat’s demeanor during 85% of the book is entitled, snobby, self centered and insecure beyond how any reasonable person would behave. Her childish way of getting back at her husband irritates me. Admittedly he is a total toss pot. His actions still don’t excuse her behavior. Cat’s entire personality change in the last few pages of the book are unrealistic. Sure, a person can go from being ridiculously self centered to kind and selfless, but it’s highly unlikely and her ultimate reason for doing so is the really my biggest problem with the entire book.

The ending, my biggest issue with the story is the ending. I don’t know what i would do if I was in Georgia’s shoes and don’t judge her for how she chooses to spend the last few chapters of the story. That being said, the story was ruined for me as it used her tragedy as a tool for the majority of her and Cat’s character’s personal growth. I just didnt like it.

Even as I finish writing this I’m still conflicted and irritated.

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