On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Read more...
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On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Their camaraderie remains unthreatened until Eugenie, the town librarian, introduces an angry teenager into their midst. Eugenie also gives them a new reading list: the classic novels of girlhood that young Hannah has never read. "Little Women. Pollyanna. Heidi. "Books that remind the women of the hopes and dreams they have lost along the way.
With each click of their needles, the ladies of the Knit Lit Society unravel their secrets: A shadow from Eugenie's past haunts the controlled order of her life. Merry's perfect little family is growing again-but will she continue to feel her identity slip away? Camille dreams of leaving town but is bound by ties of love. And the sisters, Ruth and Esther, must confront a lie they have lived with for over thirty years.
As Hannah is reluctantly stitched into their lives, the women discover the possibility that even in sleepy Sweetgum, Tennessee, they can still be the heroines of their own stories.
Crafting a friendship
Summer has never struck me as a good time for knitting: all that wool around a sticky body in the heat and humidity doesn't sound comfortable. But I have no trouble reading about knitting in any weather, which means Beth Pattillo's The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is perfect summer reading material. Here, Pattillo cleverly marries two subgenres of women's fictionthe book club novel and the knitting noveland does it very well.
Pattillo introduces appealing, small-town characters: the librarian Eugenie, a woman with a secret, whose reign over her library may be about to end; sisters Esther and Ruthie, who are involved in an unusual love triangle; Merry, a harried wife and mother harboring her own secret; and Camille, who's given up her chance at college and an independent life to take care of her dying mother. Their monthly Knit Lit Society meetings, held in the Sweetgum Christian Church, offer each a respite from their lives. Between meetings, everyone reads the same book while working on a knitting project inspired by that book. (A pattern for one such project is included at the end of the novel.) Their carefully structured group is thrown into some chaos by the arrival of prickly teenager Hannah, who desperately doesn't want to admit that she desperately needs help. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society cries for a sequelreaders will long to know what will happen next for these people, all of whom have experienced serious changes by book's end.