Knitting Under the Influence Review
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Each Sunday morning, Kathleen, Lucy, and Sari get together to eat bagels, drink coffee, share a little gossip, and work on their latest knitting projects. Other than their shared love of knitting, the three girls couldn’t be more different. Kathleen is rich and irresponsible and dependent on her famous twin sisters. Lucy is a researcher who loves animals—but whose job forces her to kill rats on a regular basis. And Sari is a therapist who has devoted her life to helping autistic kids. But the three come together because of their knitting—and they become the closest of friends in the process.

One night, when Kathleen has a few too many drinks and reveals a few too many family secrets at a party, she decides that it’s time to move out on her own—and to get a job that has nothing to do with her sisters. When she finds a job, she also finds the owner’s son, Kevin—and she decides that life as an independent, self-sufficient woman may not be as enjoyable as life as a rich businessman’s wife. Meanwhile, Lucy’s starting to wonder whether or not she’d be better off on her own—without her boyfriend, James, whose narrow-minded opinions have made him the target of animal rights protestors. Sari is the only one of the three women who doesn’t have a man in her life—until Jason Smith walks into the clinic. Jason was the most popular, most gorgeous guy in her high school—but now he’s the father of one of the autistic kids at the clinic. Sari has a hard time resisting Jason’s charm—but she can’t seem to get over the way he and his friends treated her brother, Charlie, when they were in school.

Of all the knitting-related novels I’ve read, Knitting Under the Influence does the best job of telling a good story without making the knitting content too overwhelming. While the women in the book happen to knit, that’s not all there is to know about them. They’re also three unique characters with real personalities and real lives that often have nothing to do with their hobby. Their stories (and not their knitting) are the focus of the book—and they’re such engaging stories that, even though you won’t have a really hard time guessing what will happen in the end, you’ll have a hard time putting the book down anyway.

Often, knitting novels go into way too much detail about the knitting, which tends to make the story secondary—not to mention the fact that it turns off non-knitting readers. But that’s not the case here. LaZebnik uses the women’s hobby to bring them together, but she lets her characters be individuals. And that’s what makes the book worth reading, even if you don’t know a thing about knitting—though it may inspire you to give it a shot, just so you can join a knitting circle of your own.

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