Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Kate Jacobs)

Why, hello! Fancy seeing you all here. Please, please don't leave! I can explain my 5-month-long absence. It all started back mid-March when I was overcome with constant nausea. I completely lost my appetite, which (for someone who loves cooking, eating, and thinking about food most of the time) was a completely foreign feeling. And the book I was reading at the time (Secret Ingredients, a wonderful collection of food writing from The New Yorker, a Christmas gift from Jim) I could no longer even look at. I was also exhausted, so much so that I pathetically watched Jim pack everything into boxes for our move. (I'm sure I must have done something to help, but I have no recollection what it could have been.)

We then spent our free time repainting the interior of our new house, trying to get the work done before our impending, very busy summer, one that included multiple business trips and vacations (Boston, Dallas, Seattle, Vermont, Philadelphia). And, back in February, I had enrolled in a UC Berkeley extension course in chemistry for work. So on plane trips and any time I could, I had out my calculator, a notebook, and my textbook, working through calculations and stoichiometry problems.

But then I found myself in O'Hare one week with a 3-hour delay, no chemistry book, and a low computer battery. So I went looking for a book, nothing high-brow or nonfiction. I wanted something entertaining but easy on the mind. And I found The Friday Night Knitting Club.

I'm having a hard time judging this book because, as my friend Amanda put it, pregnancy can make you want to watch movies like The Notebook over and over again. I can cry at a moment's notice, no problem (watch out Olympics!). So, in my enhanced emotional state, I very much enjoyed this book. The knitting part wasn't overly done or gimmicky, but was an organic part of the book. The many story threads, from different characters' points of view, interwove nicely, and it was a good, entertaining (albeit very female) read. However, the blurb on the front cover ("Like Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan") was a harbinger throughout. I found the ending unneeded and overly dramatic, but I enjoyed Jacobs's writing enough that I'll check out her other book (because there's no way she could end both books this way).


Lee Anne said...

I think I'll recommend this for the spouse's book club that I'm starting. I don't want to alienate people with Cormac McCarthy or Margaret Atwood. Do you think it would be a good book club selection for busy people who occasionally read fiction?

Hope you are feeling well! I'm glad you're back; I look forward to reading more reviews!

Maria Duncan said...

Yes! It would be perfect for that kind of thing. (In fact, the copy I read had book club questions in the back.)