Apart from knitting, I really love a good Christmassy read at this time of the year. Since it’s arrival at the beginning of December one book has been my constant companion in every spare moment throughout the busy day: The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater. This is the ultimate feel good Christmas book, full of nostalgia for festivals past, joy for the moment and firm hopes for holidays to come. I will be reading this still well into the New Year and hope to catch up with Nigel, chronologically, as January looms. For today, I am still on 11 December, ‘decorating the tree’.
Virago Books have asked the Fenton Knitting Group to read and review a ‘remarkable’ new novel based on the story behind Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ iconic pink suit, due to be published in the UK on 9th April. Author Nicole Mary Kelby has re-imagined the life of the garment which became emblematic of the moment the American dream turned sour.
In the story, Kate is an Irish seamstress working in the back room at Chez Ninon, an exclusive Manhattan atelier responsible for creating most of Jackie O’s wardrobe. Kate and the First Lady share roots in rural Ireland and, although their lives could not be more different, Kate honours their connection by using the muslin toiles for each piece she sews for Mrs Kennedy to fashion an identical garment, in a different fabric, for her own niece.
Then comes the day that pictures of Kate’s needlework, splashed with the president’s blood, are beamed all over the world.
Members of the Fenton Knitting Group can collect their copies of The Pink Suit at our usual meeting this Tuesday. We will be tweeting our comments as we read @ViragoBooks and our full review will appear here at https://handmadebysoo.wordpress.com/
I can’t wait to start reading The Pink Suit.