I thought I would write a little about the books I have been reading lately, with pictures of the knitting I have been doing on the side 🙂
I took the The Friday Night Knitting Club on holiday with me and really enjoyed this book. The main protagonist is Georgia Walker, a capable single mum and owner of a knitting shop in New York’s Broadway. She is doing well, making ends meet and raising her 12 year old daughter singlehandedly with support from an older friend and mentor Anita. Not long into the book, she is faced with two people from the past unexpectedly returning into her life and long buried betrayals resurface. The Friday Night Knitting Club comes into being quite by accident, but familiar characters return every week to knit and unlikely friendships and connections are formed. The book is well written and is an easy yet engaging read. I won’t go into too much detail, but I was in tears by the end. A good read with an unexpected ending. Also great to spend some ‘virtual’ time in a knitting shop 🙂
I have just finished The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul which I found on a book shelf at our holiday cottage (I left another book in exchange). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is written by Deborah Rodriguez, an American writer who used to own and teach at a beauty school in Kabul, Afghanistan and also co-owned a coffee shop there. She is well placed to write about the region and the people, having spent five years living and working there. The story centres around five women: Sunny – an American who runs the coffee shop, Halajan – the owner of the building who has a modern outlook, but must hide this from her son, Yasmina – a country girl, pregnant and abducted from her uncle’s house, who works in the cafe, Isabel – a British journalist with quite a past and Candace – a rich American divorcee, looking for her calling in life. Their lives entwine as they get to know each other in the cafe and good friendships are formed through adversity. There is once again the theme of women connecting and together they get things done. We learn about how women there are oppressed and devalued by their culture and have to live under a strict code of conduct. The book is set at a time when the Taliban were starting to get a stronger grip on things and life is unstable in Kabul. We learn a lot about Afghan culture, traditions and the different ethnic groups. It was quite eye opening in some ways for me and certainly makes me appreciate the freedoms I have as a woman in the West. The characters are believable and it left me wanting more. I just saw there is a sequel to it and a couple more books by the author so I will certainly be ordering more 🙂
And at the weekend I started reading Tomorrow There Will be Apricots. There are two female protagonists I believe, an eighty year old and a troubled teenager, Lorca, who I am just getting to know. So far so good.
As you can see, I have started a new knitting project. I didn’t work on with my sweater this week as I had to wind another ball of yarn before continuing. As it has been getting cooler here again, I decided I would finally knit myself a hat! So this weekend, on the train to London to see friends, I cast on to knit a Wurm hat
and after two train journeys and a couple of car trips, I am nearly there 🙂 I have made a Wurm hat before and found it a very flattering, fun shape. The bright, soft blue/green Merino yarn is also making it an enjoyable knit.
I have noticed the books I am gravitating to are about women’s relationships and the need to form a supportive community. I think women’s groups are so important; be they friendships, reading groups, craft groups or political groups or even an antenatal group. Women need to connect and support each other and not be in isolation as we go through life’s stages and challenges. We thrive in a supportive environment where we can feel safe to be a woman, to express ourselves fully; our passions, joys, fears, doubts and vision for the future. We all have our own individual strengths of course, but I believe together we are stronger, and confiding in each other we can feel more validated and thus become bolder and wiser.
I feel the world needs women’s wisdom now more than ever, perhaps even for its very survival. I have heard it often said that women will change the world for the better – as creators, nurturers, communicators, visionaries and peacemakers – we understand what the world needs to mend its broken heart and to safeguard the future of the world. As mothers we are perhaps even better placed to want (and need) change and perhaps to create it, one child at a time; by encouraging in our children a deep love and respect for our planet, for our fellow beings (including animals) and for all of nature.
Recently I became impressed by the vision and work of Clare Dubois and Tree Sisters. I am enjoying contributing to their cause, albeit only financially at this time. It is so inspiring and encouraging to see women standing up for what is important so we can create a viable future for our planet.
Even through this little blog here, I hope to build some form of community, however small, through sharing and connecting with other women (bloggers or not) with similar values. We need to support each other; to applaud each other for our womanly skills – It is another way of sharing and valuing what we do.
Gosh I didn’t realise I was going to write that, but it is something that dawns on me often; that if we women listened to our deepest longings – for peace, harmony, connection and community, then we have all the answers. We just need to subdue our fear of being too much, too powerful (we have generations of female ancestors who were devalued and belittled for being women whose voices still whisper their fears to us, but would, I think, want us to be free).
Finally, I would like to share a couple of things with all you lovely women out there, that have struck a chord with me. I hope you like them!
This video clip was sent to me by a friend.
And do have a listen to this free meditation by Scott Brandon Hoffman – It is called a “I See You” – a Love Letter to women. Take some time out alone and enjoy this warm bath for the soul. You deserve it!
Dear Woman, never doubt how special you are.
Sharing at Unravelled Wednesdays