The Friday Night Knitting Club
by Kate Jacobs
It won't make you fish out your needles but The Friday Night Knitting Club should have you eyeing your homemade sweaters with more appreciation. The first novel by Kate Jacobs, it centres on Dakota Walker, a single mother who starts earning a living dexterously after she discovers she has fallen pregnant to her by then ex-boyfriend. Our heroine opens a shop selling yarn, above which she lives with her daughter, and slowly finds herself part of a group that meets on Fridays not so much to knit but to chat about their knotty lives. As with reading circles, not surprisingly the members are all women. And naturally each has a frayed past, although one - a university student writing a women's studies thesis - is there primarily to press the women to talk about the meaning of their craft. Little happens that will shock readers so it's no crime to reveal that years after taking flight, the father of Walker's daughter tries to insinuate himself into their lives. If all this makes you think of Steel Magnolias, Hollywood star Julia Roberts' decision to also appear in the movie version of The Friday Night Knitting Club will seem a no-brainer. She has always been a sucker for right-on, strong-woman roles.