The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society
By Beth Pattillo
Waterbrook Press, Paperback, 9781400073948, 342pp.
Publication Date: May 20, 2008
List Price: $13.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Sometimes life has to unravel before you can knit it together…
On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Their camaraderie remains unthreatened until Eugenie, the town librarian, introduces an angry teenager into their midst. Eugenie also gives them a new reading list: the classic novels of girlhood that young Hannah has never read. Little Women. Pollyanna. Heidi. Books that remind the women of the hopes and dreams they have lost along the way.
With each click of their needles, the ladies of the Knit Lit Society unravel their secrets: A shadow from Eugenie’s past haunts the controlled order of her life. Merry’s perfect little family is growing again–but will she continue to feel her identity slip away? Camille dreams of leaving town but is bound by ties of love. And the sisters, Ruth and Esther, must confront a lie they have lived with for over thirty years.
As Hannah is reluctantly stitched into their lives, the women discover the possibility that even in sleepy Sweetgum, Tennessee, they can still be the heroines of their own stories.
"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