Knitting in the City by Penny Reid
So far this is a five book series. I will be posting a review of each book leading up to the fifth book, Happily Ever Ninja. Since I totally dropped the ball (my life is in chaos), I decided to just post my review of the new book, primarily because I love it and am so excited about it. I will go back and post reviews of the books I’ve missed at a later time.
Overall Rating: 5 (sXe)
Quick & Dirty summary: Fiona Archer is the den mother to the Knitting in the City group, but she is something of a mystery. She has secret ninja skills that no one seems to know how she developed them or why she has them. Fiona has been married to handsome, sarcastic Greg Archer for 14 years, and while she loves Greg more than anything, she can’t help but feel like her control is slipping. For a woman who has had to be strong for so long, it’s hard for her to admit that she needs help. Greg feels like he is loosing his wife to the daily demands of life, but when Greg and Fiona have to work together under the most extreme circumstances, Fiona is able to pinpoint and communicate her needs. Whether Greg and Fiona can find a compromise so that each one feels fulfilled and needed.
Leading up to the release of this book, Penny Reid constantly warned readers that this was an odd book. Penny, if you read this blog, it’s not odd or weird or unusual at all. It fits nicely with the rest of the novels, since all of them have an element of mystery, suspense, or action. This one has all of that and more.
What I love most about this book is how realistic it is in depicting married life. As much as you love your spouse, it’s hard not to get muddled in the day-to-day grind. Add kids into the mix and it’s hard to relate to your spouse in the ways that made you fall in love in the first place. Since this is true of Happily Ever Ninja, it was great that Reid released Ninja at First Sight. Without reading Ninja at First Sight, you can’t really appreciate the greatness of Greg. How hot he is, how smart he is, how funny he is—it’s mostly hidden and I know for sure that I fell in love with Greg in First Sight, which made Happily Ever so much better.
You can guess from previous posts that Reid’s writing is great. Her character develop is wonderful and the secondary characters continue to delight. The novel is funny and it is full of action and adventure. Fiona is kickass and this novel is a great meditation on how a woman is still an important, contributing member of a family even if her monetary earnings are secondary to her husbands because her work inside the house is so valuable.
What’s become really apparent to me, as I go through the series book by book and think of them together as a unit is how much I learn from each book. They are like meditations on relationships, both romantic and platonic. I am reminded of how important authentic relationships are, and how relationships become deeper when we share our happiness and our sorrow. When Fiona asks for help from her friends, you get the sense that her relationships have been validated and strengthened. I often forget that my loved ones are there for me, I just need to reach out for them. Here is my favorite lesson about marriage of the book, and I’ll leave you to think about it:
“Love was never enough, not without mutual respect and a great deal of drudgery and effort. And even then, it wasn’t enough. Wanting each other, being open to change, pushing each other to improve and grow—for the better—working to deserve each other, was key.”
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $4.99 Book5, Free for the prequel)
Yes. Please buy it. If you’re single, if you’re married, just read it. The bonus is the prequel is currently free.
Something else you might enjoy:
I recently read Every Wrong Reason by Rachel Higginson and I enjoyed it so much (you can read my review here). It’s heartfelt and it’s real and it gives me hope that even marriages that are on the cusp of failing can be saved.
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