Discussion #1: The Friday Night Knitting Club

Not sure at this point on the day after Christmas how likely our Chicken Lit’ers are to have time for posting comments on our first discussion of book #26, The Friday Night Knitting Club, but let’s give it a whirl anyway. Following are some hand-picked questions from the reader guide at the end of the book:

  • The role of friendships among women is a central theme of The Friday Night Knitting Club. Some friendships develop easily, like K.C. and Georgia’s, while others begin on unsure footing, like Darwin and Lucie’s. Cat’s insecurities create conflicting feelings about drawing Georgia closer. Discuss the emotional baggage and issues of class that challenge trust between various women in the knitting club.
  • Lucie’s decision to become pregnant without telling the man she conceives with is a choice that flies in the face of social convention and her mother’s expectations, to say nothing of her Catholic upbringing. What factors led to her choice? How does the whole of Georgia’s experience as a single mother support or undermine her decision?
  • Georgia gets defensive when James asserts that he has things to teach Dakota about race that Georgia could never teach her. Is her indignation totally justified in light of James’ delinquency as a father, or is there some truth to his claim?
  • What are your thoughts on Jacobs’ writing style in her first-time novel?

As always, no need to feel limited to these questions in your comments. Heck, maybe you have a few off-topic thoughts for posting instead? Never a problem here – post away… oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the holidays!

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30 Responses to Discussion #1: The Friday Night Knitting Club

  1. maksbestfriend says:

    • The role of friendships among women is a central theme of The Friday Night Knitting Club . Some friendships develop easily, like K.C. and Georgia’s, while others begin on unsure footing, like Darwin and Lucie’s. Cat’s insecurities create conflicting feelings about drawing Georgia closer. Discuss the emotional baggage and issues of class that challenge trust between various women in the knitting club.

    I think that each person brings their own expectations to the club/friendships. I think that it is hard to meet expectations sometimes, but I think that we tend to judge ourselves by what we see in others and that is a hard mirror to look into. I think that we all have emotional baggage that we bring into any relationship, be it friendship, or relationship, like is happening with James.

    • Lucie’s decision to become pregnant without telling the man she conceives with is a choice that flies in the face of social convention and her mother’s expectations, to say nothing of her Catholic upbringing. What factors led to her choice? How does the whole of Georgia’s experience as a single mother support or undermine her decision?

    I think that her age and her desire to be a mother led her to do what she did. I think that she is going to look at Georgia for support and as a role model for the fact that it can be done, even without a father or a support system in place. If she has the women of the Friday night knitting club backing her I think that she is going to be fine in the long run. I do wonder what is going to happen when/if the man happens to find out that she is pregnant or has had a child. Will he want to have a relationship with the child or will he feel betrayed by what she has done?

    • Georgia gets defensive when James asserts that he has things to teach Dakota about race that Georgia could never teach her. Is her indignation totally justified in light of James’ delinquency as a father, or is there some truth to his claim?

    There is truth to what he says. He is a different race than Georgia. There is a whole family history/dynamic that he has to show her. But she does have some right to be indignant, because James has not been in her life or her daughters for many years. And here he is trying to do all of these things for Dakota, and in turn reaching out to Georgia, but at this point in time, Georgia is too angry and hurt and defensive to see it.

    • What are your thoughts on Jacobs’ writing style in her first-time novel?

    I like listening to it. I love her style. Chapters are a little longer from what I can tell, but I am enjoying it.

  2. @maksbestfriend – ok, I’m writing my responses offline and will post them later. Meanwhile, no reading your response for me until my thoughts are ready. *fingers crossed* that you haven’t already finished this book…

  3. maksbestfriend says:

    No I haven’t finished the book, haven’t listened to anymore since I last commented. Honest! Watching House marathon with hubs.

  4. Thanks for your patience, @maksbestfriend! And now, I’m back to post my comments on the 1st 10 chaps:

    * The role of friendships among women is a central theme of ‘The Friday Night Knitting Club’. Some friendships develop easily, like K.C. and Georgia’s, while others begin on unsure footing, like Darwin and Lucie’s. Cat’s insecurities create conflicting feelings about drawing Georgia closer. Discuss the emotional baggage and issues of class that challenge trust between various women in the knitting club.
    With each of the women in unique situations and under differing circumstances, they all seem to have have preconceived notions about one another in terms of class. K.C. and Georgia became friends as professionals working in a publishing house, making it easy to accept one another at face value. However, Darwin and Lucie don’t have any commonalities until the accidental meeting at Planned Parenthood, which resulted in an instant bond of trust. Cat’s need for support in her failing marriage made Georgia a perfect candidate for friendship while struggling to win her husband’s love. Yet even though Georgia has trouble letting go of Cat’s previous so-called rejection, she’s starting to see past the best-friend-turned-obnoxious-lady-who-lunches façade and regain trust in her lost friend. The knitting club is the common ground that allows all of the ladies to become equals by sharing projects and one another’s company, no matter the perceived class.

    * Lucie’s decision to become pregnant without telling the man she conceives with is a choice that flies in the face of social convention and her mother’s expectations, to say nothing of her Catholic upbringing. What factors led to her choice? How does the whole of Georgia’s experience as a single mother support or undermine her decision?
    I think Lucie is completely exasperated from being expected to fit society’s mold in how to live her life. She finally finds happiness after taking inventory of what she wants for herself, and then sets forth to make her dreams a reality. As a member of the knitting club, Georgia becomes a role model to Lucie who respects her values as a single parent and successful businesswoman, supporting her decision to seek out a way to become pregnant. But Lucie might be asking for trouble in her half hazard attempt at single parenthood, I’m afraid. Just as James wants to be a part of Georgia’s life with Dakota, so might Will, the unsuspecting sperm donor, after all.

    * Georgia gets defensive when James asserts that he has things to teach Dakota about race that Georgia could never teach her. Is her indignation totally justified in light of James’ delinquency as a father, or is there some truth to his claim?
    In Georgia’s mind, yes, I believe raising her hackles was justified. 12 years is a very long time to be absent as a parent, and if James truly felt he needed to teach Dakota anything at all about race, he should’ve made it known much earlier. James might be right in his claim to having the ability to do some teaching, but proclaiming it to the mother who raised the child solo from birth was unjustifiable.

    * What are your thoughts on Jacobs’ writing style in her first-time novel?
    So far, I do like the way Jacobs is able to develop so many characters so fully in only a short number of chapters – without losing me in the process! Also, the author makes references to Georgia & Cat’s teenage friendship in the 80’s that I can relate to so closely, giving me visions of Flash Dance, Thriller and big hair all at once. Jacobs’ writing style is top notch IMHO. I don’t know how in the world I can possibly stay away from the sequel to this novel, Knit Two. Anyone else with me?

  5. maksbestfriend says:

    I am with you. Ordered it, and I do want to order Comfort Food, just because!

  6. @maksbestfriend – Great! And I’ll be next ordering both, as well. To think I walked past it so many times at Barnes & Noble – front and center even. Ah well, just another reason to set foot in my favorite store. No arm twisting necessary. 🙂

  7. maksbestfriend says:

    I ordered Knit Two on BN the other night and just bought Comfort Food on audio cd on EBay tonight.

  8. I just ordered Knit Two – swapped my iTunes gift card w/hubs for his B&N card… then forgot to redeem the card during checkout. So now I have a B&N gift card waiting for me to spend on yet another book! Is Dory channeling me w/short term memory loss, or what?

  9. Confession: I finished ch 21 this afternoon and started putting our next set of questions together. What a great novel! Where is everyone else in the book – those of us who haven’t already finished it, that is?

  10. maksbestfriend says:

    I haven’t finished. Not even close. I am only on chapter 12. I have a ways to go. Can you wait a little bit for me, maybe tomorrow afternoon please?

  11. @maksbestfriend – I’m way ahead of schedule, so no worries. I’ll wait until everyone is ready for the next discussion… and read something else that’s not on our list in the meantime. You’ll like how this one goes!

  12. maksbestfriend says:

    What are you reading? Another Twilight book?

  13. maksbestfriend says:

    Good morning! Just starting Chapter 19 this morning. Should be up to Chapter 21 later this afternoon. I have a football team to root for this morning and then I am back to the book! Go NE Patriots! 🙂

  14. @maksbestfriend – I’m reading ‘Balancing in High Heels’ by Eileen Rendahl. Her writing has me in stitches – I love authors who have me snickering all the way to the end. All done with the Twilight series – ‘Breaking Dawn’ was supreme.

    Please do keep me posted on your reading progress. Looks like we’ll be ready for our second discussion this afternoon…? And yes, go Patriots!

  15. maksbestfriend says:

    Ok, just finished Chapter 21! WOW! Ok, bring on the questions! I wonder if it is just you and me? Thanks for waiting!

  16. Dory says:

    My book has never arrived yet 😦 I’m sorry. Maybe tomorrow.

    I did finish Twilight today… LOVED it. Started the 2nd book a while ago. 🙂

  17. maksbestfriend says:

    I am so glad that you loved it, and boo for your book not arriving…can we wait for her to get her book to talk about part 2?

  18. @maksbestfriend – glad you made it! But yes, let’s wait for Dory before starting up the next discussion. We don’t want her to be too far behind in our chatting.

    @Dory – Waa! That’s ok. We’re grateful to have you along with us and will wait until you’re ready. Please give us the ‘heads up’ when it arrives. In the meantime, DO read the entire Twilight series. You’ll be so glad you did!

  19. maksbestfriend says:

    Hey Brenda, did you see that Jane Green is going to have a new book out in June called Dune Road: A Novel? It is on pre-sale now at our lovely store Amazon.com!

  20. maksbestfriend says:

    Confession from me: (what is this church?) 😉

    I just finished the book!

    This is a book that I will not forget. Wait until you get to the ending. I didn’t see it coming. We do need to read “Knit 2”. Sequel is definitely in order. I am definitely going to be awaiting the conversation on these sections.

  21. @maksbestfriend – Wow, thanks for the pre-sale info! And being an Amazon Prim’er helps expedite the process, too. 🙂 Did you place yours? If so, I’m next.

    Currently on ch 32 of book #26 and counting, especially after the comment you just posted. “Knit 2” it is for book #27 – like I said before, how can we not?

  22. maksbestfriend says:

    Just waiting for it to come in the mail! Trying to track it now!

  23. Finished. Wow. Loved it!!!

  24. maksbestfriend says:

    Honest answer…did it make you cry?

  25. @maksbestfriend – honestly, no I didn’t cry. Even though a certain part of the ending made me want to shed a tear, I was just in shock by it all. But now I really do want to read “Knit 2”, that’s for sure. So did you cry?

  26. maksbestfriend says:

    Ok, so here is an admittance, I am the woman who cries at Hallmark commercials…so that should answer your question! 🙂

  27. @maksbestfriend – so you basically wear the proverbial “heart on your sleeve”? Hope the kleenex box was handy! 🙂

    Guess what? I have the next 2 discussions ready to post. Any objections to having them online? Can our readers-who-aren’t-finished look the other way until they’re ready? Thoughts??

  28. maksbestfriend says:

    With my eyes the way they have been lately, but of course (thinking of the Grey Poupon commercial)! 😉

    I am okay with you posting them, just don’t tax my brain too terribly much, it is the end of the year after all! Heehee!

  29. @makdbestfriend – alrighty then! But of course I’ll post – just as soon as I get food on the table for my people. And no taxing – I’ll leave that to the IRS. 😉

  30. Dory says:

    * The role of friendships among women is a central theme of The Friday Night Knitting Club. Some friendships develop easily, like K.C. and Georgia’s, while others begin on unsure footing, like Darwin and Lucie’s. Cat’s insecurities create conflicting feelings about drawing Georgia closer. Discuss the emotional baggage and issues of class that challenge trust between various women in the knitting club.

    You know, I’m a small town girl. We’re friendly, chatty people here where I live. But I can imagine in a big city where there is such a diverse population, both ethnically and financially, they each go through life with a certain expectation of others. But in this case, the knitting club sort of draws them together on an even ground. It’s easy to see the attraction of it, for all of them. They were all kind of *loners*.

    * Lucie’s decision to become pregnant without telling the man she conceives with is a choice that flies in the face of social convention and her mother’s expectations, to say nothing of her Catholic upbringing. What factors led to her choice? How does the whole of Georgia’s experience as a single mother support or undermine her decision?

    She sees Georgia as a successful competent woman – if she can do it, so can Lucie. Very unconventional means to get her pregnant… but I bet it happens more than we think.

    * Georgia gets defensive when James asserts that he has things to teach Dakota about race that Georgia could never teach her. Is her indignation totally justified in light of James’ delinquency as a father, or is there some truth to his claim?

    I think there is probably a little truth to it… Georgia read all the books but that’s sure different than living the life. I think she kinda overreacted in a way… but she sure was working hard to NOT like him anymore.

    * What are your thoughts on Jacobs’ writing style in her first-time novel?

    In all honesty, I seriously struggled at first. I don’t know if it was because I went straight from reading the first 2 books of the Twilight series and was anxious to get to the 3rd or what… but those first 100 pages or so about killed me. Took me DAYS because I kept losing interest or getting lost. Once I really got going – it was good. It’s almost as if it was a little muddled and scattered at first and then it found its purpose later in the book. More likely though, it was ME that was muddled. lol

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