Discussion #2: The Friday Night Knitting Club

To help clean the slate before New Year’s Day, we’re going ahead with the last 2 discussions of book #26, The Friday Night Knitting Club. For those of you Chicken Lit’ers who are not ready to post comments on this section of the book, that’s perfectly ok! We’ll patiently wait to read all about your thoughts when the time is right for you. Meanwhile, here are a few more questions from that handy-dandy reader guide:

  • Georgia has a history of being burned by the people closest to her. Cat’s decision to attend Dartmouth meant breaking a pact of friendship, and James abandoned her for another woman. Do you think there are moments when her defenses against intimacy and protectiveness of Dakota are excessive?
  • How does Dakota’s major act of rebellion (her attempt to go to Baltimore) alter Georgia and James’ playing field? Do you agree with Georgia’s decision on an initial trip to Scotland over a trip to Baltimore?
  • When Cat responds to Georgia’s sincere questions about her college experience at Dartmouth by saying, “It wasn’t like you think,” what does she mean?
  • If Georgia had opened the letters she received from James in a timely fashion, how might things have been different?

Tick tock… tick tock… tick tock… is it 2009 yet?

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5 Responses to Discussion #2: The Friday Night Knitting Club

  1. Georgia has a history of being burned by the people closest to her. Cat’s decision to attend Dartmouth meant breaking a pact of friendship, and James abandoned her for another woman. Do you think there are moments when her defenses against intimacy and protectiveness of Dakota are excessive?
    As for her defenses against intimacy, “excessive” seems obvious with her limited number of close friendships and romantic relationships. The knitting club has helped Georgia to be more open to others, and Cat’s challenge to “do something scary” challenged her to see the possibility of romance with James again. Also, with regard to protectiveness of Dakota, I found several instances of “extreme”, particularly in walking with her to school every day and feeling reluctant to allow James to take her out on weekends. I can understand her fear in letting Dakota go to Baltimore alone with James, but I also expected her to tag along anyway just to make the trip possible. Instead Georgia reacted negatively, thus sending Dakota off in tears. Georgia’s defenses are quite obviously in high gear as a result of her experiences with Cat & James. Who can blame her?

    How does Dakota’s major act of rebellion (her attempt to go to Baltimore) alter Georgia and James’ playing field? Do you agree with Georgia’s decision on an initial trip to Scotland over a trip to Baltimore?
    Dakota’s attempt to go to Baltimore against her mother’s wishes set Georgia & James up as teammates reaching for a shared goal: bringing their daughter home safely. Yes, I agree with Georgia’s choice to take Dakota to Scotland. Georgia hadn’t been completely honest in letting Dakota know her Scottish roots, which seemed to be out of fear in allowing family to see her biracial daughter – almost as if to shield Dakota from their response to the color of her skin. Georgia needed to get over that fear before taking the next step and finally having Dakota meet James’ side of the family, the side Georgia herself had yet to meet.

    When Cat responds to Georgia’s sincere questions about her college experience at Dartmouth by saying, “It wasn’t like you think,” what does she mean?
    Georgia saw Cat’s taking of her slot at Dartmouth as the ultimate betrayal, even more so after not having known about the decision until after the fact. But as it turned out, Cat made the choice out of cowardice, not having the backbone to go against the advice of her parents and counselors who were pushing her to take the opportunity of a lifetime. She was weak by breaking the pact with Georgia to attend college together, and even weaker by not having the strength to seek out what she truly wanted out of life.

    If Georgia had opened the letters she received from James in a timely fashion, how might things have been different?
    I don’t think much would have been different if she’d read the letters sooner, mostly because the sting was still fresh and James didn’t even know what he was doing at the time. Despite the fact that Georgia continued to be hopeful that James would contact her, he doubted their relationship would last due to their racial differences. James needed time to get over that fear and go with his heart, a transformation requiring time and maturity on his part.

  2. maksbestfriend says:

    • Georgia has a history of being burned by the people closest to her. Cat’s decision to attend Dartmouth meant breaking a pact of friendship, and James abandoned her for another woman. Do you think there are moments when her defenses against intimacy and protectiveness of Dakota are excessive?

    I think that Georgia doesn’t know when to let go. She holds on to the hurts, perceived or real in her life for far too long. Look at what she would have learned had she read the letters that James had written her all those years ago. I don’t think that she would be so hard hearted or cold if she had gotten beyond herself to see someone else’s point of view. As for Cat, a pact? Heavens, life moves on. Get over it and keep moving forward. Georgia made her choice and Cat made hers, and on the surface, neither was ideal, far from it, apparently. But at the end of the day it worked for both of them. And her over protectiveness of Dakota, I can see it on some levels, but she did make the mess herself too, by not being wholly open and honest with James and Dakota about her parentage. Again, she could have gone back to the letters. Her life could have/probably would have, been so different. And she looks at her parents relationship towards her as cold, guess what, she wasn’t looking beyond her own needs/wants. Her grandmother was wiser than Georgia knew.

    • How does Dakota’s major act of rebellion (her attempt to go to Baltimore) alter Georgia and James’ playing field? Do you agree with Georgia’s decision on an initial trip to Scotland over a trip to Baltimore?

    I think that it forced Georgia/James to see that the relationship is not just about them. It is also about Dakota. And Dakota was much smarter and intuitive than either gave her credit for. I think at first the trip to Scotland was a major over reaction on her part, but in the end you had to know that James was not going to stay away. It seems like he was acting more grown up to see through her attempts, selfish as she was to keep him away from his daughter. And when she read the letters she really had no choice but to communicate with him, since in her not reading his letters, she was as guilty as he for the failure of him not being a part of the two of their lives for 12 years. And the trip gave Grandmother a chance to instill some of her wisdom in Dakota, though at the time, we did not know why that was going to be so important. And it gave a chance for Georgia and Cat a chance to get over some of their perceived and real grievances from years past and let it go. Heavens, I cannot believe that one person could hold so much in and be so accomplished. About time she set it free.

    • When Cat responds to Georgia’s sincere questions about her college experience at Dartmouth by saying, “It wasn’t like you think,” what does she mean?

    That Cat chose to be the party girl and did things, I suppose, that if Georgia really knew, would not come across at all as being studious. She admitted as much. She was looking for the person who was going to take care of her. And for a time, I think that she thought that she found it. But in the end, she sold a part of her soul. She almost came off as a modern day version of Princess Diana, but thankfully she got out and is finding her way again. Another one who received good wisdom from Grandmother. I hope that she follows it.

    • If Georgia had opened the letters she received from James in a timely fashion, how might things have been different?

    I would have hoped that she would have fought for her relationship with James. But….. she would have been 12 years younger with a newborn. What were we like when we were in our early 20s? Impulsive? Headstrong? Would she really have done the responsible thing?

  3. Dory says:

    * Georgia has a history of being burned by the people closest to her. Cat’s decision to attend Dartmouth meant breaking a pact of friendship, and James abandoned her for another woman. Do you think there are moments when her defenses against intimacy and protectiveness of Dakota are excessive?

    Umm, yeah, I would say so. I think because she was a thinker, slow and methodical, she really had to work out in her mind when and if she’s really OVER the things from her past. She likes to nurture her disappointments and failures of others, maybe so she’d keep remembering NOT to trust anyone else. A protective measure.

    * How does Dakota’s major act of rebellion (her attempt to go to Baltimore) alter Georgia and James’ playing field? Do you agree with Georgia’s decision on an initial trip to Scotland over a trip to Baltimore?

    I think the trip to Scotland was LONG overdue. I’m glad the little scare from Dakota was enough to prompt her to go in the first place.

    * When Cat responds to Georgia’s sincere questions about her college experience at Dartmouth by saying, “It wasn’t like you think,” what does she mean?

    It wasn’t all fun and exciting. She felt like she HAD to go because of her parents but once she got there, it wasn’t that fabulous after all.

    * If Georgia had opened the letters she received from James in a timely fashion, how might things have been different?

    I would like to think so but, in all honesty, I doubt it. She was too young and too hurt and too pissed off to believe him. What a shame. Think of all the time they might have had together….

  4. Dory says:

    Are you kidding me? I just answered this but it didn’t show up! waaaaaaa 😦

  5. Dory says:

    Oh. False alarm… there it is.

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