The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love
WaterBrook Press, June 2009
Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list — a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.
As the Knit Lit ladies read and discuss classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum, Tennessee, love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community — and especially in each other.
The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society
WaterBrook Press, May 2008
On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Their camaraderie remains unthreatened until Eugenie, the town librarian, introduces an angry teenager into their midst. Eugenie also suggests a new reading list that includes classic novels of girlhood like Little Women, Pollyanna, and Heidi — books that remind the women of hopes and dreams they’ve lost.
With each click of their needles, the ladies of the Knit Lit Society reveal themselves. A shadow from Eugenie’s past haunts the order of her life. Merry’s perfect little family is growing again, but will she continue to feel her identity slip away? Camille dreams of leaving town, but is bound by ties of love. And sisters Ruth and Esther must confront a lie they’ve lived with for more than thirty years.
As Hannah is reluctantly stitched into their lives, the women discover that even in sleepy Sweetgum, Tennessee, they can still be the heroines of their own stories.