Monday 25 September 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Woolly Hat Knitting Club - Poppy Dolan

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause. 

But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

What did I think?

I do have an affinity for knitting and I certainly don't get my needles out often enough, but I was drawn to The Woolly Hat Knitting Club like a granny to a woolshop.  I expected it to be a bit of a chicklit book, with a bit of knitting in it, so I was really surprised to find myself taking note of some life lessons along the way.  I love a book that gives me something to think about at the end, and I think it's rather apt that I am starting a new job on the day that I am releasing my review of The Woolly Hat Knitting Club for the blog tour.  You will see why if you read on...

Delilah and her brother, Julian, (Dee and JP to their friends) co-own a haberdashery in the picturesque village of Fenwild.  Not one to be sexist, but you would expect Dee to be the knitting enthusiast but instead it is her brother JP.  JP has made quite a name for himself on social media as About a (Knitting) Boy so he is distraught when he breaks both his wrists and has to call on his sister for help.  Luckily for JP, Dee has just been fired from her high-powered job in the city so she is around to help out...or take over and PR the hell out of his knitting business, more like!  When she's not seething about her arch-rival, Ben, who she thinks got her fired, Dee is trying to secure investment in JP's business...but is that what JP wants or is it all that Dee knows?

When Dee runs into an old friend, Becky, in the local supermarket a new business plan is born.  Becky has just prematurely given birth to her son, Chester, but she hasn't even been able to hold him yet, never mind find clothes to fit him.  Although JP is unable to knit in his current predicament, Dee asks him to give a shout out to his followers to knit tiny baby hats and they are overwhelmed by the response. The idea snowballs into a knitathon and JP really gets to see who his friends are...with Dee finally seeing that there's more to life than work.

What a thought-provoking story this was, both about paying it forward by being charitable and about the work/life balance.  I've heard all the 'work to live not live to work' sayings many times and at the beginning I really didn't see what was wrong with Dee throwing herself into her work 24/7 - after all that's all she had.  EXACTLY!!!  That's all she had but she could have so much more!  Family, friends and love are all waiting to be plucked from the tree of life but you have to take a walk into the forest to see this as you can't see it from your desk at work.  As soon as Dee felt the warm glow of happiness, I had a bit of an epiphany and saw where I had been going wrong for the last however many years.  So like I say, I expected to settle down to some warm glow hot chocolate sipping chicklit but got a lot more out of The Woolly Hat Knitting Club than I expected.

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club ticked all the boxes for me with family and friendship playing a huge part, but also thinking of others as well as yourself.  There really is something extra special about giving a gift you have made yourself as there's a little bit of love and happiness woven into the item along with every stitch.  The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is what I would call an onion book; it has so many layers and it's a delight to see them being peeled away to reveal a shiny new core or whatever an onion has in its middle.  Maybe an onion doesn't have a kernel, but there's definitely a kernel of wisdom in this book should you choose to see it.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.  I am releasing my review as part of the blog tour.

My rating:

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