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The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society: A Novel Paperback – May 20, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society: A Novel + The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love: A Novel + The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400073944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400073948
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.9 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Take five knitters, put them in a book club, expand it to include a rebellious teen and you've got this agreeable "yarn" by Pattillo. Eugenie Pierce is a 60-something "tough love" librarian in Sweetgum, Tenn. who finds the neglected 13-year-old Hannah Simmons tearing out pages of a library book. In reparation, Hannah must attend Eugenie's "Knit Lit Society" at Sweetgum Christian Church. Pattillo offers a mélange of additional characters: Merry McGavin is an overwhelmed mother; single gal Ruthie Allen is 55 and at odds with her sister, Esther Jackson; Camille St. Clair is a 24-year-old committed to caring for her terminally ill mother. All five women harbor secrets that Hannah's presence in the group will prompt them to reveal. Though the plot can be predictable, the story grows smoothly in Pattillo's competent hands. As each woman's situation comes to a crisis point, the tension never escalates past a gentle simmer. Pattillo, a Rita Award-winning writer author (Heavens to Betsy) creates a sweet story of redemption that will go down well with knitters as well as the knitting-challenged.
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Review

"Take five knitters, put them in a book club, expand it to include a rebellious teen and you’ve got this agreeable “yarn” by Pattillo. Eugenie Pierce is a 60-something “tough love” librarian in Sweetgum, Tenn. who finds the neglected 13-year-old Hannah Simmons tearing out pages of a library book. In reparation, Hannah must attend Eugenie’s “Knit Lit Society” at Sweetgum Christian Church. Pattillo offers a mélange of additional characters: Merry McGavin is an overwhelmed mother; single gal Ruthie Allen is 55 and at odds with her sister, Esther Jackson; Camille St. Clair is a 24-year-old committed to caring for her terminally ill mother. All five women harbor secrets that Hannah’s presence in the group will prompt them to reveal. Though the plot can be predictable, the story grows smoothly in Pattillo’s competent hands. As each woman’s situation comes to a crisis point, the tension never escalates past a gentle simmer. Pattillo, a Rita Award-winning writer author (Heavens to Betsy) creates a sweet story of redemption that will go down well with knitters as well as the knitting-challenged."
-Publisher's Weekly, May 2008

More About the Author

Beth Pattillo's love for Jane Austen was born when she studied at the University of London, Westfield College, for one glorious semester. Her passion quickly became an obsession, necessitating regular trips to England over the past twenty years. When not dreaming of life 'across the pond,' Beth lives in Nashville with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Sweetgum, Tennessee, the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society consists of women who have been hurt in their relationships, but share their love of knitting and formed a book club. Sexagenarian librarian Eugenie Pierce has never even tasted love. Sisters Ruthie Allen and Esther Jackson will probably take sibling rivalry to the grave. Twentyish Camille St. Clair may not have the years of kicking the can experiences like the others, but her life is currently on hold as she cares for her dying mother. Merry McGavin seems happy with her loving family, but loving family means hiding the truth behind a façade as she is overwhelmed. Finally there is newest member thirteen years old Hannah Simmons, who has no future except to repeat the ugly past culminated with a temper fit in the library tearing out pages from books. As each faces a personal crisis caused in part by secrets they hide, their knit lit pals encourage and support one another.

This Yada Yada crowd meets the Elm Creek quilters in a Mossy Creek like Tennessee small town is a fine ensemble tale starring fully developed women in personal crisis who finds their knit lit members being there for them. The story line is well written, but though smooth, the author never explores deeply any of the ensemble cast while touching on all of them. Fans will enjoy the sisterhood as each helps one another.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on June 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Patillo is the newest in a flourishing genre of chick lit books focusing on a handicraft. In this case knitting, plus a book group. Eugenie, the long time town librarian runs the society with an iron fist, so when she brings in teenager Hannah, troubled and caught tearing pages out of a library book, to do penance by attending the meetings and cleaning the library, all of the other members are changed by her presence. Esther and Ruthie are sisters who couldn't be more different. Esther is picture perfect, but her husband is in love with free-wheeling Ruthie. Camille is only 24 but has given up her dreams of leaving small town Sweetgum to take care of her ailing mother. Merry is an overstressed mother with a faltering marriage and a surprise pregnancy. These different women all come to the society for their own reasons and find the same thing: family, acceptance, and love. But only after Hannah forces them to drop their facades and really see each other and themselves. Not too much attention is paid to the books read or the knitting, just enough to keep the plot moving without dragging. These women were so real; they shop next to you in the grocery store and sit next to you in the church pew. Patillo captures their hopes and dreams and makes all of them (even Esther) sympathetic. I hope that this is only the first in a series, because I want to know these characters better and watch them grow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beth E. Settje VINE VOICE on April 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found the story solid, yet lacking at the same time. Each character had her own tale to tell but none were done with significant depth. There were also few surprises in the story, though many characters lives were intertwined in many ways. I liked the story and will read the sequel, but it is not a Wow book.

There are many books with groups of women coming together for a purpose, such as a knitting group or book club. This book combines both interests and does a good job of tying the knitting projects into the book theme. I enjoyed that element very much. What I missed was each character's greater depth and introspection that I have seen in other books. Overall an easy read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lain VINE VOICE on November 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is so much better than the Friday Night Knitting Club, the Shop on Blossom Street, the Jane Austen Book Club, or any other knitting/book club book out there -- and I've read them all! The characters are true, interesting, quirky, and far less than perfect. The Christian theme is very subtle, and the plights of these characters kept me up way past my bedtime as I turned pages to see what would happen. I will be reading more of Beth Pattillo's books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Holly VINE VOICE on July 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've seen many good reviews of this book, and nearly every one praises it. I received the second book as an ARC and figured I should read this one first. It's a nice story: a group of women get together once a month to talk about the latest book and knit. Sounds lovely. Predictably, each woman has a crisis of some sort in her life and by the end of the story, everything has worked out.

While the characters are probably true to life, I didn't really find them likeable: Esther and Eugenie are downright prickly. There wasn't really anything that drew me to any one of them. The chapters alternate telling each story and showing what happens at the latest meeting. The friendship aspect was really lacking. Other than getting together once a month, these women really had nothing in common and little contact outside the Knit Lit Society.

I did appreciate how the author tried to tie in each month's book with what was going on in these women's lives: especially choosing childhood classics to help Hannah, the young teenager they reluctantly all adopt into their circle.

I'll read the sequel and hope I find it more enjoyable than this one. Light Christian, but unfortunately there was nothing stellar about it. A promising story that fell flat. Many other people enjoyed it more than I did, so you will find a lot of good reviews out there, too.
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