October 23, 2006

Purling Girls

It's not as if Scottie wants much -- just for life to be somewhat... normal. For starters, maybe her best friend, Amanda, could start acting like her best friend again, and less like the Trust Fund Princess Prom Queen Wannabe she's morphed into lately. Or, her mother could start acting like a mother who has just lost a beloved sister, instead of Creative Artisté Extraordinaire, around whom she and her Dad must tiptoe. Scottie would even take just getting a good night's sleep as a quick route toward normalcy -- really, she doesn't want much. Just her life back. Instead, what Scottie gets is ...knitting. Hours of hypnotic peace that starts with twenty four rows of blue on its way into becoming a scarf. It's not sleep, but it's close. It's not friends, or Mom and Dad, but it'll do, especially when she finds a friend in a local yarn store owner.

When Amanda finally wakes up to the fact that she's lost her friend, she seeks Scottie out at KnitWit, the place where Scottie's finally found herself. And then Tay, one of the kind of goth girls from their artsy high school, happens by, taking up knitting on a dare from her counselor. And then comes the effervescently freaky home-schooled girl, Bella. And as suddenly as yarn snarls, Scottie has friends again: chicks with sticks. They knit their lives together, and Scottie suddenly feels a little less wobbly, even though things with her parents aren't any better, and things are as lumpy as a marled sweater. Anxiously, Scottie circles her bundle of friends, trying to hold them together by sheer willpower and fear. Because if it all unravels, she'll be left alone. And what good is a single strand?

Not just for crafty types (though there are actual knitting patterns in the book), this excellent novel is about the staying power of friends. Sometimes all you need for friendship is a little yarn and a little patience.


a. fortis said...

This sounds much better than I feared it might be. I was worried that it would be a sort of jumping-on-the-bandwagon-of-the-knitting craze, not-very-deep novel. Glad to hear it isn't!

tanita s. davis said...

Yeah, the knitting-is-hot bandwagon is actually a wee bit fullish these days... but this one isn't overly cute or kitschy, and really is about friendships, and trusting the people you love to act like people you can love. Definitely one to read.