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Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel (Friday Night Knitting Club Novels) Paperback – November 2, 2010


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Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel (Friday Night Knitting Club Novels) + Knit Two (Friday Night Knitting Club) + The Friday Night Knitting Club
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Product Details

  • Series: Friday Night Knitting Club Novels
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425236765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236765
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kate Jacobs is the author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two, and Comfort Food. A former magazine writer and editor, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving

How essential to stop, reflect, be grateful. For food. For family. For subtle joys, such as the feel of soft yarn on fingertips, for the sense of ease that comes, stitch upon stitch, from following the rhythm of the pattern. Honoring the spirit of the holidays can also be a celebration of the experience of crafting.


Chapter 1

New York seemed to be a city made for celebrations, and Dakota Walker loved every moment of the holidays: from the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds breathlessly waiting for the lighting of the gigantic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, to the winter-themed department store windows displaying postmodern Santas, to—her favorite—the kickoff to a month of fun with that ruckus of a parade on Thanksgiving morning.

Dakota's grandmotherly friend Anita Lowenstein—who, nearing eighty, could text almost as well as some of her college classmates— had escorted Dakota to the parade when she was small. Last Thanksgiving morning, in a fit of nostalgia, the two of them bundled up in layers, chunky handmade cable-knits over cotton turtlenecks, and staked out a spot near Macy's just after sunrise to watch the river of floating cartoon characters and lip-synching pop stars and freezing but-giddy high-school marching bands flowing down Broadway. Just as it should be.

But what Dakota most enjoyed about the beginning of winter was the crispness of the air (that practically demanded the wearing of knits) and the way that tough New Yorkers—on the street, in elevators, in subways—were suddenly willing to risk a smile. To make a connection with a stranger. To finally see one another after strenuously avoiding eye contact all year.

The excuse—the expectation—to bake also played a large part in her personal delight. Crumbly, melty shortbread cookies and iced chocolate-orange scones and whipped French vanilla cream cakes and sugary butter tarts: November through December was about whipping and folding and blending and sampling. Though she'd spent only one semester at pastry school so far, Dakota was eager to try out the new techniques she'd learned.

Still, she hadn't stopped to consider how it might feel to roll out crust, to pare fruit, to make a meal, back in what was her childhood home, as she adjusted her bulging backpack, groceries in each hand, and climbed the steep stairs two floors up to Peri's efficient little apartment situated one floor above the yarn shop her mother had started long ago, the tiny shop—the shelves packed to bursting with yarns fuzzy, nubbly, itchy, and angel-soft, its walls a kaleidoscope of cocooning pastels and luxurious jewel shades—that Georgia Walker had willed to her only child and that Dakota had, finally, come to truly appreciate.


The white-painted cupboard door creaked loudly as she opened it, surprising not because of the unpleasant volume but because Dakota realized, in that moment, she had forgotten the quirks of this particular kitchen. At the same time, overflowing bundles of yarn spilled—burgundies and cobalts, wools and acrylics, lightweights and doubleknits—from the shelves, tumbled to the grocery bags she'd just set on the counter, and then bounced to the linoleum tile floor below. Almost as an afterthought, a tidy pile of plush plum cashmere dropped noiselessly through the air, just missing her head, and landed directly into the small stainless sink.

"This isn't a kitchen!" cried Dakota, reaching out her arms as widely as was possible in her heavyweight white winter coat, trying to hug yarn and food and prevent all of it from rolling off the edge. "It's a storage facility!"

She hesitated. What she'd wanted was simply to find a bowl, something in which to pile up the apples she'd purchased, and she'd approached Peri's compact galley kitchen in the apartment above the Walker and Daughter yarn shop as if on automatic pilot. Distractedly running through a to-do list in her mind, Dakota lapsed into an old pattern and went directly to where her mother stored the dishes once upon a memory, back when the two Walkers lived in this same walk-up. And what did she find? Knitting needles of all sizes and woods stacked in the flatware drawer and oodles of yarn where the dishes ought to be, raining down from the cupboards. She wasn't sure she ought to risk a peek in the oven now that Peri lived here.

It had been a long time since she'd cooked in this location, making oatmeal, orange and blueberry muffins for her mother's friends, the founding members of the Friday Night Knitting Club.

"Seven years," marveled Dakota, her voice quiet though no one else was around. Seven years since she'd puttered around this kitchen after homework, smashing soft butter and sugar together as she contemplated what tidbits would go inside the week's cookies.


"Careful now," murmured Georgia, the shop ledger in front of her on the cramped kitchen table. "Maybe don't put in everything that's on the shelf. We went through two bags of coconut last week."

"Uh, those muffins were my best ever, Mom," said Dakota, prancing around in a victory dance on the worn linoleum. "The supreme moistness I've been searching for! You can't stand in the way of a chef."

"As long as this chef remembers that we're on a budget," Georgia said mildly, brushing away some bits of eraser from the page before her. "I think I created a monster the afternoon I taught you how to measure flour."

"Okay, Mom," said Dakota, sliding into a chair at the table. "Should I not make so much?"

Georgia's eyes crinkled as she regarded her lively daughter, whose ponytailed hair was falling loose from the neon-pink scrunchie she'd knitted herself.

"Never stop," she said, gently tugging her daughter's hair. "Don't give up something you love just because there's an obstacle. Find a way to work around it. Be open to something unexpected. Make changes."

"Like what?" "Like if you run out of sugar," she said. "Use honey." "I did that last week!" "I know," said Georgia. "I was proud of you. We Walker girls are creative. We knit. You bake. But above all, we never, ever give in."


Dakota surveyed the room. The kitchen was almost a relic, one of the few places in the apartment undamaged by last year's flooding, the bathroom down the hall being the source of the water that ruined the yarn shop in its previous incarnation but reminded all of them—and especially Dakota—of the importance of a mother's legacy. The store reopened soon after with a clean-and-simple style, with basic shelves for the merchandise, though she and Peri planned a massive remodel to begin in the not-too-distant future. That was all they'd talked about for months. The idea was to devote the shop space to a boutique for Peri's couture knitted and felted Peri Pocketbook handbags, and to adapt the first floor from a deli to a knitting café. Dakota's father, James Foster, was in charge of the new architecture but—due to frequent changes from his, ahem, difficult clients—hadn't finalized the drawings. It was a grand plan, a vision that required Dakota to hurry up and graduate from culinary school. Peri had been keeping everything under control for a long while, and the strain was showing.

"I don't want to miss my moment, Dakota," Peri reminded her, though she admitted she wasn't sure what that moment might be. Indeed, as Dakota grew older and struggled to keep her schedule in check, it had gradually begun to dawn on her how much Anita and Peri and even her father had worked tirelessly to fulfill her mother's dream of passing the store to Dakota. And even though Peri had a small ownership stake, even though Anita had helped out financially eons ago when Georgia bootstrapped her shop into being, even though James was her dad, everyone's sacrifices of time and energy belied self-interest as motivation. Amazing, truly, to know that one woman—her mother, who always seemed just so regular and everyday with her reminders to zip up jackets and sleep tight—had the grace of spirit to inspire such devotion.

Still, changes were coming all over, it seemed. Since leaving the V hotel chain, James's focus had been on his own architectural firm. Unfortunately, business wasn't exactly booming. The knit shop was also facing smaller revenues this quarter. Dakota didn't see the adventure in uncertainty. Too much change, she knew, could come to bad ends.

She eyed the clock, assessing the tidying she still needed to complete in the apartment. Dakota knew Peri was downstairs in the shop, finishing up the day's sales and awaiting the arrival of the club for their regular get-together. Those same women who were now Dakota's very own friends and mentors. The big sisters and, on some days, the surrogate mothers who were around whenever she needed to talk. The group would be gathering in the shop in a few hours to knit a little and talk a lot, catching up on one another's lives and prepping for the upcoming holidays.

To be fair, Peri had warned her, when the two of them struck their deal last week as they went over the bookkeeping for the week, that she had nothing in the kitchen. Absolutely nothing. Dakota was accustomed to that style of New York living, had other friends whose refrigerators held only milk and bottled water, a selection of cereal at the ready for every possible meal or snack. She had shopped for staples today, even salt and pepper, knowing full well to expect very little. The turkey and produce would come Wednesday, when she planned to make all the dishes and leave them for day-of reheatin...

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Kate Jacobs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two, Knit the Season, and Comfort Food. She telephones hundreds of book clubs each year to discuss her novels with readers and can be reached via her website at http://www.katejacobs.com.
Born in Canada, Kate now lives in Southern California with her husband Jon and their dog Baxter.

Customer Reviews

This was a great read for the holiday season.
A. Jacobs
I also realize that I did not get much enjoyment from the story and found most of the characters dull and lackluster and the story less than engrossing.
Red Rock Bookworm
I read this book after ring the first and second Friday Night Knitting Club books.
susieqlaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By nat @ book, line, and sinker on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The third installment of The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit the Season is a feel-good holiday book that celebrates friendships, family, new milestones, and unlimited possibilities for the future.

Knit the Season offers readers the chance to revisit the characters from The Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two, following them as they reconnect during a holiday season in New York and abroad. A novel that continues to explore the dynamic of friendship between a group of diverse women, Knit the Season offers readers hope and joy after the long and sometimes painful road they've traveled with Georgia Walker, her daughter, friends, and family.

I, like many others, had a difficult time with the plot twist at the end of TFKNC, but this newest installment helped me see that it served as an impetus for the other characters. Kate Jacobs used the twist as a motivation for all the changes the characters make--they are dynamic--altering their life courses as a result of plot events.

By using memory flashbacks from various characters' perspectives, we get a closer look at how one character can influence the life path of others. The flashbacks in Knit the Season also serve to enhance the characterization of Georgia Walker in her role as mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, lover, and friend. Like the Christmas tree garland she and her Scottish grandmother knit over the years, the characters are connected to each other by Georgia and form a strong chain that can't be broken by the passage of time, distance, or age.

Fans of TFNKC and Knit Two will really enjoy catching up with the circle of friends, especially when they are each poised to embark on new and wonderful opportunities.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually pre-ordered this book ... that's how much I enjoyed Kate Jacobs' first two installments in the "Friday Night Knitting Club" series, as well as her book "Comfort Food". However, unlike the other readers who have thus far reviewed "Knit the Season" here, I was somewhat disappointed in the end product this time.

Knit the Season is not a *bad* book, but it's also not a terrific one. Some of the plot elements were contrived and overly-predictable, and the author's use of flashback scenes/dialogue (snippets from various points in Georgia's life) was - to me - an irritating, extraneous interruption. For all of the characters' zeal about telling Dakota unvarnished stories about her mother, these flashbacks still paint a picture of Georgia as largely saint-like; the first book did a much better job at fleshing out her character and providing insights into the woman she was. Presumably, since Dakota was not a young child when her mother died, her memories of her mother would have provided her with a much more realistic snapshot of the woman than the vignettes that the flashback segments produce.

If I hadn't read the first two books, I would have pegged the characters here as two-dimensional. Dakota's "passion" for baking and her desire to ultimately pursue a career as a pastry chef - which was quirky, charming, and just one facet of her personality in the previous books - reaches nearly obsessive proportions throughout most of the book. Dakota also tends to stay "in her own head" a great deal. It would have been interesting (and more illuminating) to see her interact with her classmates or her teachers, but her interactions in the book are virtually limited to those that involve her family and the "knitters" although she is purportedly a full-time student.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Jacobs VINE VOICE on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was a great read for the holiday season. I know that a lot of people are like me, and enjoy the break from our normal reads at this time of the year. This book captures the warmth and spirit of the holiday season to share with family and friends. This is the third book in the series and I had to go read the first two books before reading this. It's not necessary, but it gives you more history and background for each of the characters. I love the flashbacks from each of the characters and it helps with the reasons of their choices in life. Every character is different, but they each share a meaning and love of friendship. A truly warm and wonderful read for this time of the year.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Catherine. Heathcliff on September 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I totally enjoyed the first book in this series. . and liked the second. This third book, Knit the Season is really a disappointment. Too much time is spent recapping the events of the first two books, and there are senseless flashbacks to childhood events that have nothing to do with the story. I couldn't even finish it. I think the author needed to turn out a third book - and fast - for her publisher. And this trite and boring read is what we got. Too bad. Save your time and money. But do take a look at the first two books. The first book, especially, is a delight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed TFKNC and I liked Knit Two, but admittedly a little less than the original. The third book seems to be a little more "phoned in." I agree with the reviewer who said that the characters are more two-dimensional here, and have lost some of their spark, particularly Anita. I found the entire plot with her son Nathan - just a plot device to provide conflict -- entirely unbelievable. I thought Jacobs did a better job trying to humanize Nathan (a very little bit) in Knit Two than in this book, where his actions are entirely unbelievable, and Anita's lack of backbone makes no sense. Part of the appeal of TFKNC is that readers can see themselves in some, or even all, of the characters. Of course I know people who had trouble with their parents remarrying, but I know no one who acts like Nathan or has a son like him. It was jarring.

Not trying to give spoilers here, but it's clear from the book description that a component of this novel are "memories" of Georgia. I found them contrived and not very compelling -- personally, I prefer my own memories of the Georgia I "met" in TFKNC over these little over-simplified, slightly schmaltzy vignettes. I also dislike some of the hackneyed narrative techniques she uses in this book and Knit Two, such as characters slipping into reveries (aka our insight into their memories, feelings, etc.) and then being interrupted with the way overused novel line, "Earth to So-and-so! Where were you?" If a character is going to give us info via a daydream, just do it already! You don't need to create a fake conversation around it.

On the positive side, although I didn't exactly believe it, I like the focus Jacobs places on Catherine and the growth of her character through the second and third books.
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