Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review: Knit Two

Summary: Knit Two returns to the Manhattan knitting store Walker & Daughter five years after the death of the store's owner, Georgia Walker. Georgia's daughter Dakota is now an 18 year old freshman at NYU, running the knitting store part-time with the help of the members of the Friday Night Knitting Club. Drawn together by their love for Dakota and the sense of family the club provides, each knitter is struggling with new challenges: for Catherine, finding love after divorce, for Darwin, newborn twins, for Lucie, being both a single mom and caregiver for her elderly mother, and for seventysomething Anita, marriage to her sweetheart Marty over the objections of her grown children.

As Kate Jacobs returns to the world of Walker & Daughter, she's once again keyed into many of the stresses and joys of being a mother, wife, daughter and friend. Every woman who picks up this book will see themselves in its characters—the very thing that made The Friday Night Knitting Club such a huge word-of-mouth success. A true love letter to the power of women's friendships, and, of course, knitting, Knit Two is entertainment with a heart. -- Putnam

I know I'm not alone in saying that I really enjoyed THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB by Kate Jacobs, and I have been anxiously awaiting a sequel. Fortunately, I received an ARC of KNIT TWO a few weeks ago, and I absolutely devoured it. Not that I like to judge a book by its cover, but the cover artwork is just beautiful (especially if you love touching, feeling and buying yarn like I do.) I had pretty high hopes for this book so it's a good thing that it lived up to my expectations.

If you enjoyed THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB and the characters in that book, then you will certainly want to read KNIT TWO. Ms. Jacobs' newest novel has the same cast of characters as her first one; however, this book picks takes place five years later. It will only take a few pages until you are once again caught up in the characters' lives (as well as their troubles.) Even though the book takes place five years after Georgia's death, each of the women is facing different challenges in her life. While the characters for the most part are more mature, many are still struggling with issues that women everywhere face like motherhood, family problems, career choices, marriage, etc. They all seem a little lost without the guidance of Georgia, but they eventually find their way with each other's support.

While all of the characters in THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB were brought together by their friendship with Georgia, in KNIT TWO many of them have remained friends because of their relationship with Georgia's daughter Dakota. Each of the women had a very special role in Dakota's life, and they all tried to fill the void left after Georgia died. I think it's so special that Ms. Jacobs has created characters who are so diverse and different from each other whether it be age, race, social standing, marital status, career choice, etc. She highlights that ultimately these differences don't matter -- what's important is being there for a friend.

One thing I especially enjoyed about KNIT TWO was that some of the characters travelled to Italy. I love all things Italian (especially the food) and am dying to visit there some day. I thought Ms. Jacobs' descriptions were very vivid and captured the essence of Italy. For many of the characters, the trip to Italy helped them put their lives into perspective and eventually gave them the insight they needed to resolve their issues.

While I didn't find myself crying at the end KNIT TWO like I did during THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, I was still deeply touched by the ending. There is a surprise near the end of the book (which is definitely not as sad as when Georgia died from ovarian cancer in the first novel) that affected me a great deal. My heart went out to all of the characters, yet I loved how the tragedy in this story eventually pulled them together. Similar to THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, KNIT TWO showed how incredibly strong and resilient women are; and it demonstrated the powerful bond between all types and all ages of women. I liked that the characters discovered important things about themselves, and I thought the book ended on a very hopeful note.

I absolutely adore Kate Jacobs and all three of her books. Not only have I loved both THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB AND KNIT TWO, but I also enjoyed her other novel COMFORT FOOD (you can read my review here.) Last April, I was fortunate enough to interview Ms. Jacobs when COMFORT FOOD was released. She is extremely gracious and also a big supporter of book clubs. She makes herself readily available for telephone chats, and she's even running a contest right now where Ms. Jacobs will visit to your book club in person. If you are interested in learning more about Ms. Jacobs, check out this new interview with her. In addition, she is doing a pretty big book tour; and she might be coming to a city near you.

KNIT TWO would make a wonderful book club selection, especially if your group has already read THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB. Ms. Jacobs manages to capture the essence of women so beautifully, and I think we all can relate a little to the characters in her books. There is a wonderful reading guide available if you're like my club and kind of "need" questions to keep your discussion on track.

KNIT TWO is available today so make sure you keep this book in mind for the holiday season. It will make a great gift for any special woman in your life, especially if she loves books or knitting. In fact, the book includes a simple knitting pattern for the Georgia Afghan that I am just dying to make! Take a look at the first chapter and I know you'll be immediately drawn in just like I was.


Anonymous said...

I haven't read either of these books and it sounds like I need to start with The Friday Night Knitting Club.

S. Krishna said...

Nice review! I've been waiting for this one to come out.

Stacie said...

I just read The Friday Night Knitting Club a couple weeks ago and was wondering how Knit Two was. I am definately looking forward to reading it soon especially with the characters so fresh in my mind.

jkluginbill said...

I'm excited to read Knit Two. It is high on my tbr list! Thanks for the great review!