Disclaimer: I received a free PDF of this novel courtesy of the author and was not in any way paid for this review.
"I wonder what will happen this year…my life is so bloody boring. I need something to change. I want some excitement. I want adventure. Perhaps I need to learn to say 'yes' to more things and to get past my fears. After all, I'm almost forty—I still have time to change. Oh, could I be brave enough to try more things? Who am I kidding -- my life never changes."
So begins Janet Groom's fun, debut novel and the theme of change and transformation weaves the text together through Groom's relatable character Cate, a thirty-eight-year-old happily married woman, content with her office job and in love with her one and only, Mike – or so she thinks. She is looking for change from page one but it is soon apparent that until now she's been seeking renewal in all the wrong places, mostly in the bathroom mirror.
It doesn't take long for Groom to toss in a whole cast of engaging and empathetic friends, some of whom are grounded, while others are desperate for their own metamorphoses.
Don't be put off by the title. Sure, there really is a naked knitting club but if you're imagining a spin off of anything related to Fifty Shades of Grey, put your mind at ease and think more about Bridge Jones Diary with a delightful Irish accent.
Groom refers more than once to the complications of growing up in Northern Ireland and I would have loved to have had at least one meaningful scene so that I could fully absorb Cate's background rather than the thin references. A fuller view of the family dynamics of an authentic Northern Irish family would also be welcome—as it is, we only catch a glimpse.
Instead, Groom keeps the book hopping and lighthearted, and the wine and champagne flowing throughout the various sorties through Cate's heart, and the often unlit alleyways of marriage and friendship many readers will be familiar with, as well as more than one mission to a high fashion London boutique.
I recommend this book to anyone looking to spend an afternoon immersed in the ups and downs of romance with a side dose of humor, playfulness, dandelion coffee, and vegan cheesecake and I'm looking forward to the sequel.