Book Review: Tuesday Evenings with the Copeton Craft Resistance by Kate Solly

About the Book:

A heartwarming story of friendship in an imperfect world, this is binge-worthy, feel-good fiction at its best.

Meredith established the Copeton Crochet Collective (no knitters please) because it would be like having friends, only with her in charge, and because there would be no men. It comes as a nasty shock, then, when Luke, the handsome grandson of no-nonsense Edith, decides to stay and learn to crochet.

Claire has five children, which is why people sometimes look at her with mild concern. She longs for an Insta-perfect life like her online hero, Siobhan, but she’s drowning in domestic failure. She joins the Copeton craft group in the hope of making some non-virtual friends.

Yasmin is Muslim and proud. But sometimes it would be great if people stopped asking her about her hijab and instead asked who she thought was going to win MasterChef. Pregnant with her first child, she should be elated. So why can’t she stop panicking? Perhaps crocheting a set of baby clothes can get her in the right headspace.

With plans for a new mosque and the resettlement of refugees in the retirement village, Copeton becomes a breeding ground for Islamophobia. Together with the other members of the group, this small band of fibre-arts enthusiasts battle racism and bigotry with colour and creativity, but will the fragile threads of community be enough to bind them when more than one member has something to hide?

Published by Affirm Press

Released December 2022

My Thoughts:

“You’re not really in a position to decide whether Australia is racist or not, Claire. You’re white and you’re polite. You’re in a well-meaning middle class bubble. Racism doesn’t happen to you and it doesn’t happen in front of you. This is not your debate.”

Tuesday Evenings with the Copeton Craft Resistance is a delightful debut for Australian author, Kate Solly. Crochet and racism, specifically Islamophobia, might seem like a very unlikely thematic combination, but Kate Solly has pulled it off with aplomb. I wasn’t sure where this novel was initially headed, to be honest, if it was going to be about friendship and crafting or greater social issues, but in the end, it was about all that and then some.

I will confess, that while I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, some of the characters never really grew on me. Meredith was a hard one for me to pin down. Her lack of social skills didn’t mesh with being the head of a marketing department, which requires creativity and communication. Claire was a trainwreck. I have three children myself, all close in age, so I do appreciate the hectic younger years, yet her chaos was foreign to me, as was her naivety. Harper, I loved, along with Yasmin, Lottie, and Luke. Fortunately, with the changing of perspectives, any negative feelings about certain characters didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the novel.

Key themes of acceptance and friendship underpin the more serious aspects of this story. I did really appreciate the collaborative crafting aspect. I am a crafter from way back and the community aspect of crafting together cannot be overstated. It’s also a wonderful basis for making lifelong friends. As far as debut novels go, this is a good one and will have wide appeal. There are some book club discussion points in the back of the novel if you are so inclined to make this your next book club pick. All in all, I can happily recommend this one as a great read. Four stars.

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