TALT is brought to you today by Veggie Mom, over at Eat Your Veggies! She's got a couple of awesome picks today, folks. And remember: You, too, can be a Featured Blogger on Take Another Look Thursday! All ya gotta do is write up a short review of anything your little ol' pea-pickin' heart desires, and send it to Your Humble Scribe at firstname.lastname@example.org. You write 'em, we'll run 'em!
The Friday Night Knitting Club
This freshman effort by novelist Kate Jacobs is an excellent summer read for two reasons: It's light and frothy, while tackling a couple complicated subjects at the same time. And by tackling, I don't mean full-on, smash-mouth football; more like an attempt to engage an opponent during a rousing game of badminton. OK, that doesn't sound so good, but I enjoyed this book for what it is.
What is it? A tale of relationships, which also touches on those sticky situations that make life interesting: Men and women, friends and family, mothers and daughters, coping with friendship, business, love, and the emotional rollercoaster called life. Meet Georgia, a single mom who owns a knitting shop on Manhattan's Upper West Side. She is mother to Dakota, a perky, darn smart, mixed-raced daughter just approaching her teens. James, Dakota's Dad, has been out of the picture for some time, but then, just as Dakota approaches the symbolic age of 13, he reappears in her life and voilà! James, BTW, forms the major conflict around which Knitting Club is based.
Threaded in and out of the 360 pages of this trade paperback are the characters who make the novel worth reading. Yes, James and Darwin add a little bit too much "PC" to the tale, but Dakota and Cat are worth listening to. And I'm not going to spoil the ending, but everything thing turns out OK in the end--metaphorically speaking, of course. That's the whole ball of yarn this novel is all wrapped up in--the extended metaphor of Georgia's shop and how it helps the characters get through life without dropping too many stitches.
Yea, I laugh at Becky's funky '80s outfits, and marvel that George Clooney could have ever been so young and skinny (yup, he was Roseanne and Jackie's boss at the plastics factory way on back in 1988), but there's a reason I watch these re-runs almost as often as I tune in to I Love Lucy--Roseanne, formerly Roseanne Arnold, née Roseanne Barr, is darn funny! I love her snide asides, her rude repartee with daughter Darlene and sister Jackie, and I adore the big heart underneath all that snarkiness.
Memorable one-liners from the show, which ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997, include, "This is why some animals eat their young," and "Quick, they're gone. Change the locks!" Roseanne's quips, played off husband Dan (John Goodman), sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and the three Connor kids--Becky (there were two of 'em, and the second Becky became Elliot on Scrubs!), Darlene (whatever happened to Sara Gilbert? Someone told me she had a role on ER) and DJ (OK, he wasn't so cute as he got older)--make for a lovely afternoon of entertainment, especially when the Oxygen Network runs back-to-back Roseannes all dang afternoon! A bit of Roseanne trivia: Laurie Metcalf is the only cast member ever to win an Emmy for the show, and she won three of 'em! Which leads me to question why she didn't win for her psycho turn on Desperate Housewives last year, but that's another story...