The first book is The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.
As a new knitter I was very interested in reading this just based on the title, and then the synopsis on the back drew me in even more. Here's what Chapters.ca has to say about the story:
The "New York Times" bestselling sensation that''s ""Steel Magnolias" set in Manhattan" ("USA Today")-now in paperback. Juggling the demands of her yarn shop and single-handedly raising a teenage daughter has made Georgia Walker grateful for her Friday Night Knitting Club. Her friends are happy to escape their lives too, even for just a few hours. But when Georgia''s ex suddenly reappears, demanding a role in their daughter''s life, her whole world is shattered. Luckily, Georgia''s friends are there, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they''ve created isn''t just a knitting club: it''s a sisterhood.
Sounds awesome, right? Well it is. Jacobs does a great job of creating realistic characters and I especially liked that there were so many strong female characters that were working hard to make it on their own. It wasn't a love story (although there is some romance) it was a great story about how our female friends can be our greatest supports. I loved the idea that a family can be made out of friendship and connections. As I read the majority of this book, I was home visiting my mom and being an expectant mother, I think it made everything that much more poignant to me. I did, however, find myself often wishing that I had no left my knitting at home and that I was a much more accomplished knitter than I am at this point!!
I have also just discovered that there is a sequel- Knit Two, and website! I think the sequel will soon find it's way into my hot little hands.
My second review is for The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I hadn't ever heard of this book, or author, until I was finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club at my mom's house and needed another book. Man, am I glad I found it!!
(I tried to upload a picture of the cover but couldn't get it to work! So sorry!)
Here's what Chapters.ca had to say:
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The House at Riverton, a novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family's secret past.
A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book-a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-fi rst birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.
This book was a great read. As a lover of historical fiction I will devour the descriptions of the clothing, the food, the homes, and society. This book doesn't disappoint. The Montrachet family is such an interesting study in family dynamics, what is or isn't kept hush-hush, and how people were expected to behave in society at the turn of the century. This book will draw you in with it's fantastic descriptions, intriguing characters, and excerpts of the fairy takes written by the Authoress (how magical does that sound). It will keep you on the edge of your seat and gasping at the end. If you loved The Thirteen Tale, you will LOVE The Forgotten Garden!