Review

Knit Two: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel

by Kate Jacobs

When I heard that Kate Jacobs was writing a sequel to her hugely
popular 2007 novel THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, I confess I was
a little skeptical. After all, Georgia Walker, the owner of Walker
& Daughter yarn shop and central figure of the titular club,
passed away at the close of Jacobs's debut. But, as she writes in
the acknowledgments section of KNIT TWO, "I never stopped thinking
about…the entire group, and sitting down to type out my
thoughts was a delightful reunion with some old friends." Fans of
Jacobs's earlier novel about Georgia, Dakota, Anita and their
friends --- the same fans whose enthusiasm convinced Jacobs to
write this follow-up --- will also feel like they're reconnecting
with old friends when they pick up her latest work.

With the way Jacobs has structured her novel, the idea of a
sequel doesn't feel so preposterous at all. It opens five years
after the events of THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, with Georgia's
former friends and co-workers struggling --- just as readers will
--- with how to move forward without the vivacious, energetic
person at the center of their knitting circle.

Five years on, some of the club's members have done a better job
of coping than others. Peri, Georgia's protégée and
part-owner of Walker & Daughter, has seen her designer handbag
business take off but has grown increasingly frustrated and
disenchanted with the daily grind of running a struggling business.
Dakota, the "daughter" of Walker & Daughter, is now a freshman
at NYU. She is convinced that she doesn't want to carry on the
family business and struggles with feeling disloyal to her mother's
legacy. Her secret desire to become a pastry chef leads to frequent
clashes with her more pragmatic father, James. James himself
harbors deep feelings of guilt and inadequacy, emotions that have
made it impossible for him to move forward in another romantic
relationship.

Romance is also lacking for some of the other knitting club
members. Catherine, Georgia's longtime best friend, has found
professional success and a series of short-term flings after
leaving her stifling marriage, but she fears that years of trying
to model her life on others' have left her unsure of her
true identity and desires. Lucie, now an in-demand music video
director and the single mother of a five-year-old daughter, Ginger,
surprises herself by harboring fantasies of contacting --- and
reconnecting with --- Ginger's father, who has no idea he has a
daughter. K.C., the frustrated editor turned lawyer, has taken up
smoking to deal with the onset of menopause and her own
regrets.

Even those whose personal lives seem to be in order find
themselves not only coping with Georgia's absence but also with
personal crises. Darwin, the feminist scholar, gives birth to twins
and finds motherhood both more and less than she had hoped for.
Anita, who has found a second chance in love late in life, finds
herself unable to move forward with marriage until she solves a
lingering mystery from her past.

If all this sounds like a lot to keep track of, you're right.
Jacobs gives herself a huge task in trying to juggle this many plot
lines, resulting in a novel with as many strands as a complicated
Fairisle sweater. Things get even more complex midway through the
book, when half the characters embark on a new adventure in Rome,
while others remain behind in New York City. Not surprisingly, some
stories --- namely Catherine's and Dakota's --- emerge as the most
compelling, while others are relegated to supporting status. And,
as her legions of fans will appreciate, Jacobs doesn't weave in all
the loose ends left in these women's lives, leaving open the
possibility that readers someday will be invited to additional
meetings of the constantly evolving Friday Night Knitting Club.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on January 24, 2011

Knit Two: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel
by Kate Jacobs

  • Publication Date: November 25, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 039915583X
  • ISBN-13: 9780399155833