Lydia Hirt, of Penguin Group, asked me to read this book and write about it on my blog. I was really flattered even if I am one of the legions offering free labor to write about this book, released today.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lydia Hirt, of Penguin Group, asked me to read this book and write about it on my blog, Artquiltmaker.com. I was really flattered even if I am one of the legions offering free labor to write about this book, released today.
Kate Jacobs picks up the story of the Friday Night Knitting Club after James and Dakota have worked out some of their messy family issues, such as Dakota switching colleges. Dakota is older and more adult and that makes for a more interesting story line. One line in the book conveys one of the underlying themes of the book quite well, “Convincing everyone she was all grown up led to a hard-won realization: She had to act like an adult. She had to handle new responsibilities.”
The author focuses on Dakota and does a good job showing her trying to juggle school, her business, her dreams for changing and expanding her business, her family and all the things that adults have to do.
I think Jacobs has found her stride with this book. I found Knit Two hard to read, because so much was going on. I think Ms. Jacobs was trying to do get through too much of the story in that book. In Knit the Season, she has relaxed. I also have to thank her for not rehashing the entire previous two books in this book. This book stands on its own and Jacobs had the confidence to write it as such.
I also thought this book didn’t try to give all the characters equal time. Again, Jacobs shows confidence in her writing of this book. She doesn’t exclude Darwin and Lucy, but they receded into the background a bit to give space for Dakota, Gran, Bess and others. I think this was a good choice. Too many storylines can be confusing.
The backstory is also being developed. Jacobs employs a flashback technique to provide context and give Georgia a voice. Flashback writing can be dangerous in the wrong hands, but Kate Jacobs does a GREAT job. She uses restraint and the flashbacks she offers provide insight into the club, into Dakota and the other characters. Learning about the characters’ pasts as well as interactions between the different characters gave added dimension to the book. I also liked the flashbacks, because they gave voice to Georgia again. Georgia was a strong and important character in the Friday Night Knitting Club and she now has a new opportunity to say more.
Jacobs does use sentence fragments in some cases, which I really don’t think worked well. While they got the message across, I would have liked to have seen them punctuated differently. That being said, I was reading an uncorrected proof and those tidbits may have been changed in the version you have in your hands now.
This book has a lot of dialog. I think that it could have used a bit more description. One of the sections I thought needed some extra description was the part where Dakota brought groceries over to Peri’s apartment so she could cook Thanksgiving dinner for Peri. Peri has nothing, NOTHING, in her cupboards, and only root beer and nail polish in her fridge. I would have liked to know more about this phenomenon. Don’t New Yorkers want coffee or tea when they get up in the morning? It didn’t impact the story and I learned to love descriptions reading Rosamunde Pilcher‘s novels, so I may have a skewed view of the writing world in terms of descriptions.
I like books with take-aways. Take-aways are often quotes I can write in my quote book and read later. In one of the flashbacks, Georgia is giving advice to a much younger Dakota, “Don’t give up something you love jut because there’s an obstacle. Find a way to work around it. Be open to something unexpected. Make changes.” This is a great line and I hope it made it into the final version. I think it is one of those quotes that I could put on my wall and be inspired by forever.
Ms. Jacobs tidied up the ends of the story in such a way that if she decides to write another installment, there are enough interesting storylines for her to pick up and weave them in. If she moves on to something else, this book ends in a satisfying manner so the reader, at least this reader, doesn’t feel cheated.