Knitting Under the Influence – Claire LaZebnik

Title: Knitting Under the Influence
Author: Claire LaZebnik
ISBN: 0446697958
Pages: 416
Release Date: September 1, 2006
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the back cover:

Sometimes it feels like the knitting circle is the only thing that keeps Kathleen, Sari, and Lucy from falling apart. Their fine-gauge scarves may look fabulous but they’re starting to unravel…

For years, beautiful, flighty Kathleen has been living off of her famous actress sisters. When she moves out, she misses her life of luxury and begins to think that marrying a rich guy might be an easy way to get it back.

Lucy is dating the man of her dreams – gorgeous, a brilliant scientist, going places – but when an animal rights group targets him, she wonders whose side she’s really on.

And Sari finds herself suddenly face-to-face again with the “it” boy from high school who still has it – he’s gorgeous, sensitive, and kind, and has a son who needs Sari’s help. But can she ever forgive him for what he did to her brother a decade ago?

Caught between life, love, and the pursuit of the perfect, cast-on, these three friends learn that there are never any easy answers, except maybe one – that when the going gets tough, the tough get knitting.

Knitting Under the Influence is a fun story of three friends and the way their lives progress as they learn about life, love, and the road to happiness. Though the word “knitting” is the title, this is NOT a book about knitting. If your attraction to this book is mainly because you think you might find a story about women, but centered on knitting, I’d advise you to skip this book – you will probably be disappointed. While knitting does play the part of bringing these women together each week, it is very peripheral to the storyline.

I did enjoy this book very much, having been attracted to it after reading Claire LaZabenik’s The Smart One and the Pretty One [review]. I found Sari’s story to be the most interesting by far; I really liked learning about her work with autistic children. It’s always nice to feel like you are learning something as well as enjoying yourself when you read. Lucy’s story was pleasant enough; it’s nice to know that scientists working with rats dislike killing them for experiments! I have to say that I didn’t find Kathleen’s story as compelling; though I enjoyed her search for herself, I didn’t really care for the way she went about it.

Though Knitting Under the Influence is longer than traditional chick lit fare, the pages breeze by. The story moves along at a nice pace, and LaZebnik does a good job of keeping the reader interested; I never found myself utterly bored with a storyline, as can happen when a novel centers on more than one character.

As I said before, if it is the ball of yarn on the (adorable) cover that draws you to this book, skip it. But if you enjoy chick lit, I’d definitely pick this one up. And if you haven’t read it yet, don’t forget LaZebnik’s The Smart One and the Pretty One [review] – another wonderful read!


  1. Thanks for the heads up. I had been thinking this would be a good gift for a knitting friend.

  2. I just finished The Smart One and the Pretty One and I adored it! I found this book on bookmooch the other day and snapped it right up! I definitely didn’t get it for the knitting so I’m glad to hear it’s not a large part of the story! These books have beautiful covers!

  3. I thought Knitting Under the Influence was pretty cute. I liked thinking about how I would handle the dilemmas each of the women faced.

  4. Now that sounds like what i would love to read now šŸ™‚

  5. I’m a knitter and just love the cover of this book. I’ve had Knitting Under the Influence on my bookshelf for a while – I really need to pick it up soon!

  6. I’m also a knitter, and I would’ve picked it up because of that. Thanks for letting us know that’s not a major theme. Still sounds like a good book though.

    Diary of an Eccentric

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