Friday, October 27, 2006

Book Review: Knitting Under the Influence

By Claire LaZebnik

"To live and knit in LA" - cover blurb.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It has all I am looking for in a light read (mostly funny, occasionally serious, fairly realistic, happy ending); and then some, because the main characters are (obviously) knitters. The book is better written than the usual offerings in this genre, and the characters were very relatable. I found myself identifying with Lucy, amused by Kathleen's antics, and sympathetic to Sari, but also wishing she'd let go of some of her baggage. All in all, it was fun hanging out with these girls for a while. And got me wishing that Charlotte on Sex & the City knitted in more than that one episode.

The best aspect of the book, from the knitter's perspective, is that the knitting was good. The girls' projects were described well, there were lots of knitting moments, as the girls met weekly just to knit. Their project choices sounded pretty cool, and I liked how they corresponded to each girl's personality, as well as to whatever was going on in their lives at the time.

I'd read Maggie Sefton's mysteries and found them just okay - which might be due to a number of factors. Being a former Los Angelina, Knitting Under the Unfluence definitely grabbed me, as well as the fact that these girls are all around my age. They knit a lot of the stuff that I knit and they do it constantly. I couldn't say the same for Sefton's novels. I didn't much identify with Kelly Flynn, the heroine (too anal), and even though the LYS they all hung out at sounded REALLY COOL, the knitting just seemed to be kind of an add-on, whereas for the girls in Knitting Under the Influence, it was a big part of their lives and their friendship.

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