Friday, October 11, 2013

Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs (Berkley - Nov 2010)

Series: Friday Night Knitting Club (Book 3)

For college-age Dakota Walker, whipping up butter tarts and chocolate-orange scones at pastry school has become her passion, but she'll never give up knitting and gabbing on Friday nights at Walker and Daughter. The coziest yarn shop on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Walker and Daughter has also been a haven for Peri, Darwin, Lucie, KC, Anita, and Catherine - the women who have become Dakota's dearest friends, her big sisters, and sometimes her surrogate mothers.

With the holidays are just around the corner, the women have even more reason to celebrate: there's a special wedding planned for New Year's Day. In the meantime, Dakota is working to finish a sweater her mother started before Dakota was born. As she takes on her mother's pattern, she learns from her family and friends that there was much more history in these stitches than she had anticipated, and that to build on her mother's legacy, Dakota must allow herself to become the woman she truly desires to be...

This is a book that deals mostly with change.  Dakota is the central character.  She is a student in culinary school but also part owner of a knitting shop that used to belong to her mother.  Her plans are to create a cafe within the shop once she has graduated.  To that end she is trying to get an internship with a hotel chef for over the holidays, only to find out that her father has made plans for the entire family to go visit her grandmother in Scotland.  Dakota must decide which is more important to her.  She also discovers that her father is dating, something that she hadn't seen coming.  I had to remind myself that Dakota is still pretty young - I think around twenty-one - because I kept thinking that she seemed pretty selfish through most of the book.  She spends a lot of time thinking about how she doesn't want to give up the internship just to visit her grandmother, even though the woman is pretty old and who knows what could happen.  She also gets pretty snippy with her dad about his dating, even though her mom has been gone for eight years, not seeming to care that maybe he's a bit lonely and ready to move on.  It takes some straight talking from a couple of the knitting ladies to open her eyes to how she's behaving.  One of the things she has been doing is finishing some of her mother's knitting projects.  The one she is working on now is a sweater that had been started for her father.  As she works on it, and throughout the book, her friends and family share stories about her mother as a child and young woman, giving Dakota new insight into her mother's life.  By the end of the book I had seen some good emotional growth out of Dakota.

There are also changes coming for some of the other members of the club.  Peri, the co-owner of the shop, has been offered an incredible opportunity in France and has to decide if she has the courage to tackle the unknown.  If she does, it will take her away from the shop and her friends.  I loved the way that she worked out her dilemma.

Anita is supposed to be getting married on New Year's Day.  Her fiance has been most patient with her as the wedding has already been rescheduled several times.  One of Anita's grown sons is against the marriage and has managed to derail her plans before.  Will she be able to stand up to him this time?

Their friend Catherine has been seeing an Italian widower for a year and isn't sure where the relationship is going.  She loves him and is ready to step it up, but she doesn't know his intentions.  He and his family will be visiting New York for the holidays.  I loved the conversation she had with him and the results were fantastic.  

Overall it was a good book, but at times very slow to get through.  The beginning was especially slow and I nearly gave up on it.  I'm glad I didn't, but it was a close thing.

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