Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chick Lit With a Twist

Books are a lot like life, no matter how much you prepare for a certain outcome, there are often curve balls thrown your way.  I have been reading a lot of heavy subject matter lately, which has only serves to highlight the chaos and loneliness that are the staples of my life.  So, in order to combat the general heaviness that has pervaded my life, I began reading a good piece of Chick Lit, The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.  

When I checked out this book from the library, I was expecting a frothy tale about a group of women living in New York who frequent a wool shop.  It started off with the usual trappings of a novel written for a primarily female audience, a group of female characters with varying levels of self-awareness who pursue positive change both personally and professionally.  The story revolves around Georgia Walker, the owner of a wool shop affectionately named Walker & Daughter.  She is a feisty single mother whose business and parenting savvy has not translated to her love life.  There is a large cast of supporting characters including Darwin, the clueless academic, Lucie, the pregnant filmmaker, and Anita, Georgia's fairy godmother and mentor.  

The plot speeds up when Cat Phillips, Georgia's ex-best friend arrives on the scene, causing both women to question themselves.  Cat's wealth drives the self-made Georgia crazy even after she commissions Georgia to knit a one-of-a-kind gown.  Georgia's self-sufficiency brings out feelings of inadequacy in Cat, who remains married to a jerk out of fear of the unknown.  This relationship is at the heart of the book and remains that way until the story takes a twist.  A twist which took me to an emotional place that I didn't expect to go, not with this book.  I will not reveal what happens, but needless to say it threw me for a loop. It dredged up a lot of issues that I had thought that I dealt with and I had a very hard time finishing the book.  I think that the book is well-written and that my purely emotional response is to blame, rather than the writer.  

Overall the book has been a good, if emotionally draining, reading experience.  As a knitter, I related on a deep level to the calming effect of the clacking of the needles and the sureness of the wool.  Sometimes having a project to complete and something to do with my idle hands is the only thing that stands between me and total insanity.  In life you rarely get do-overs, but with knitting you can always rip out your work and start again a little wiser.           

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