Friday, February 26, 2010

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo ****

Hannah lives in the poorest, dilapidated trailer; that is when her drunk mother's boyfriend isn't around to ogle and grope at her. At those times, she hides under the broken-down porch. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society addresses Hannah's misery in the tradition of food, fashion and feelings novels: with a book club and knitting.

While the small town Tennessee story includes a diner and a dress shop, the narrative emphasizes feelings. Women in Sweetgum have fears and fantasies: death, divorce, desertion and desire. Once Hannah joins the book club, it contains a complete cast: rich and poor, victim and tyrant, young and old. In the tradition of Austen, the characters are oblivious of their obvious flaws and inevitable destinies until the end.

I found this to be a very pleasant escapist read: predictable in a comforting way - a nice southern meal: fried, warm, soft, and a sweet.

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