Reading, knitting, and laughter abound in Sweetgum, Tennessee! In this charming sequel to The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society, the ladies tackle another book list while Eugenie's newlywed bliss falters; young Hannah begins dating; and restless Camille resists a romance that would tie her to the small town forever. Will friendship keep them from coming unraveled?
It's time to return to Sweetgum and it turns out that the ladies we met previously are still not done with their secrets and relationships. This time the focus of their book choice and knitting is romance. And what better way than to look back on the great romance classics that literature has to offer? Once again, the book is split into different stories of all the women in the group. It might be a little too much for the reader as there are several members but once you are able to keep track of everyone, it becomes much easier.
One topic that gets brought up is the role of the pastor's wife in a church. I totally felt for Eugenie. I hate reading about church members who think they have the right to dictate what role the pastor and his wife should play because they feel that they are the ones who are paying their paycheck. It really makes me angry because they are such hypocrites and honestly they are the very stereotype of Christians that I hate because they think they are better than everyone else. I totally agreed with Eugenie's view of them all the way.
While all the stories of the women are interesting the other one that stuck out most to me was Camille's. She's moved past the unhealthy relationship of the first book (which I didn't feel ever got fully resolved) and is eager to leave the town and further her education. But just when her plans begin to get underway, a blast from the past returns which hinder her plans. I really liked the the relationship Camille had with Dante. First off, this is one of the VERY FEW interracial relationships portrayed in Christian fiction. Second, I don't want to spoil the story but the way their relationship took a turn went in a way I appreciated. I feel sorry for Camille because she has such a jaded view of love due to her past.
My only qualm is that while I liked the selection of books chosen, I feel like these are same romance stories that are always used in books. While there's nothing wrong at all about Pride and Prejudice (and I can totally understand why Pattillo chose that particular Austen book), it might have been nice to stir up the pot and use a different Austen selection. I love Darcy and everything but I don't feel as if the other Austen heroes get enough credit. Also the other choices, while classics that I understand that not everyone might have read, are the typical ones always used. I just would have liked to have seen other books being used. Also Maria's story was EXACTLY P&P so it seemed a bit repetitive.
Still though, I really enjoyed the book as I had the first one. It's a comfort read and I enjoyed the knitting talk mixed with the book talk. I would enjoy being an honorary member of the club (provided someone will help me knit). I really hope there will be another book in the series as I feel that the stories of the characters are not done yet. I also hope for a return of Ruth or at least some news from her. Again a great read and hoping for more.
The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Pattillo is published by Waterbrook (2009)
This review copy was provided by the publisher