'The Friday Night Knitting Club'
By Kate Jacobs
Format: Audio CD
Published: Blackstone Audiobooks; Aug. 2007
Narrator: Carrington MacDuffi
Synopsis: Between running her Manhattan yarn shop, Walker & Daughter, and raising her 12-year-old biracial daughter, Dakota, Georgia Walker has plenty on her plate in Jacobs's debut novel. But when Dakota's father reappears and a former friend contacts Georgia, Georgia's orderly existence begins to unravel. Her support system is her staff and the knitting club that meets at her store every Friday night, though each person has dramas of her own brewing. Jacobs surveys the knitters' histories, and the novel's pace crawls as the novel lurches between past and present, the latter largely occupied by munching on baked goods, sipping coffee and watching the knitters size each other up. Club members' troubles don't intersect so much as build on common themes of domestic woes and betrayal.
My Take: A while back you may remember I asked for everyone's advice on where to get my audiobooks! I had downloaded one that I loved from iTunes, which was easy but expensive and needed to look into some alternates. Many people suggested I check out what my library had for at home download. While the San Francisco Public Library has a ton of downloads available for at home consumption (yeah!), they have very few that are equipped for downloads on a Mac (boo!), which is what we own. This surprised me with how close we are from the home of all things Apple. Maybe someday the SFPL will get their act together. I scoured their fiction and non-fiction titles and put all 12, yes seriously 12, that I hadn't a. read, b. was interested in reading in my wishlist and here we are. So I may just have to switch over to audible eventually after all!
At any rate the first one available to me was this, 'The Friday Night Knitting Club'. It was one of those books that I had picked up multiple times and thought it looks cute and up my alley but, well, I don't knit so I probably won't be able to relate to it a lot. But when it's free...why not give it a try. I popped in my earbuds and flew through it. The story was sweet and and charming and I loved the narration style of Carrington MacDuffie. She did a great job of switching voices (although she may not have nailed all of the accents but I can forgive her for that). I think, bottom line, this story works well as an audio book, because while there are a lot of characters it's not overly complicated so you can follow along and root for the characters from the comfort of your home or office.
The story centers around Georgia and her knitting store. Georgia is a wonderful heroine. She is plucky and has made a great life for herself and her only daughter. She got pregnant unexpectedly as a young woman and had to figure out what to do with her life in order to survive with very little support. Not knowing what to do but knowing she loved to knit, and finding a mentor in an older woman Anita, she decided to develop her skills and eventually opened her store Walker and Daughter. From this, women came into the store and learned to knit and stayed to chat, hanging around long after the store would close sometimes. Then the Friday Night Knitting Club was born.
The people who attend the club are varied and you can easily relate to at least someone in the club. They are comical and maddening but it's pretty relateable. Georgia is the glue to the group. Her twelve year old daughter Dakota is a great cook and loves to try out her new recipes on the club. I won't get into all of the different characters in the book because there are quite a few and they all provide depth to the story but suffice it to say that they all make for a fun read.
Also, just when you think you know where the story is going and it's going to wrap up neatly there is a little twist at the end so be sure to stay tuned throughout the story. I won't give anything away though! I think I'll eventually check out the sequel.
(I got this audiobook from the library)