The Friday Night Knitting Club
Hodder & Stoughton
DEATH and love, the first-time writer's friend: Kate Jacobs is in home country with this story of Walker and Daughter, a New York knitting supplies shop, and its customers.
Single mother Georgia has parlayed a talent for knitting into a shop that's rapidly become home to a club of knitters - tactless sociologist Darwin, wise old widow Anita who's dodging courtship because she's still mourning after 17 years, and so on.
Georgia is always tired, always achey, always lonely, but her 30s are a stable time. Her little girl, Dakota, is growing up well, and they've negotiated the problems of bigotry caused by Dakota having a black father and a white mother.
But everything changes: one day Dakota's dad walks back into their lives. And so does Cat, Georgia's teenage friend who had let her down so badly.
The knitters help each other through the hard times. Turns out Cat now has a nasty, destructive husband. And Georgia has cancer.
Surprisingly, this is selling really well in the US, where happy endings are normally demanded. An interesting writer to watch.