Friday, July 18, 2008

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Patillo

Five ladies of Sweetgum, Tennessee meet once a month at a local church to share their passion for reading and knitting. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society consists of Eugenie, the town librarian, sisters Esther and Ruth, stay-at-home mom Merry, and Camille who has dreams of escaping the small town. Eugenie decides to introduce a troubled teen named Hannah to the group. They teach her to knit simple projects, and they discuss classic books for girls such as Little Women and Heidi.

Each member has their own troubles which they try to keep to themselves. Eugenie is being forced into retirement and someone from her past suddenly appears turning her normally controlled life upside down. Esther and Ruth must face a lie they have lived with their entire adult lives. Merry is unexpectedly pregnant when she feels her marriage is falling apart. Camille must care for her terminally ill mother and manage her dress shop even though she dreams of leaving the small town. Hannah’s mother is negligent and she has a difficult time at school.

The ladies are a bit resentful of Eugenie bringing a troubled teen into the group and choosing to read children’s books. However, they each help Hannah in their own way and ultimately this helps them resolve their own issues.

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo was an enjoyable read, though at times predictable and perhaps overly sentimental at the end. I would recommend it to those who enjoy gentle reads. It also includes a knitting pattern for a basic shawl.

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