Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl is the debut novel of Hettie Bell. The main character is a girl named Poppy who finds herself in sort of a personal dilemma. She slept with her ex-boyfriend and now she’s pregnant. She decides to visit Planned Parenthood to discuss her options and while there she meets Rhiannon whom she feels an instant connection with. While at Planned Parenthood, she also sees an advertisement for a local knitting group and decides to join to make new friends who can help her on her journey to becoming a mother. Arriving at the first meeting, she finds out that Rhiannon is also a member, and there are definite sparks between them. But can the pregnant girl learn to knit and actually get the girl? Only time will tell…
I liked how open Knit, Purl, a Baby, and a Girl was about Planned Parenthood and the options which they can present to someone who finds themselves in Poppy’s situation – unexpectedly pregnant, single, and semi-estranged from her family. When Poppy meets Rhiannon, Rhiannon is her clinic escort to get through the protestors outside the building. Poppy is confused and scared about her potential pregnancy, and finds no pressure within the walls of the clinic, and is able to educate herself about her choices, and make her own decision which is to keep the baby.
I also liked the representation of Poppy’s character. She’s bisexual, overweight, and a college dropout. She’s quirky and she overthinks situations. Her family dynamics are strained because her mother thinks that she is a failure who will never amount to anything. Her ex-boyfriend is a loser and not dependable when it comes to her pregnancy or what will happen after her pregnancy. Because of her past with her family and her ex-boyfriend, she’s quick to react in regards to thinking the worst about people, and this influences her relationship with everyone in the knitting group, including Rhiannon. Knit, Purl, a Baby, and a Girl is told in Poppy’s point of view so as a reader you really get the feel of what she is thinking and experiencing.
Unfortunately because of the first person point of view, it feels like there are aspects missing from the story. Poppy and Rhiannon’s relationship moves really quickly and while there are sparks, there are also several assumptions made by Poppy regarding Rhiannon and the way that she feels about her and her baby. I felt like these assumptions were not fully addressed and that the romance between the two characters was rushed. Granted, they were under unique circumstances but, even so it felt like they came together really quickly and it become sort of a push-pull dynamic on rather or not they would stay together. As a reader, I was conflicted about this, and felt like there could have been more build up for them. I would have also enjoyed reading Rhiannon’s point of view. I know that this Poppy’s story but, it still would have been nice to understand what Rhiannon was thinking or feeling instead of just going based on Poppy’s assumptions.
Overall, I think Knit, Purl, a Baby, and a Girl was a solid debut novel. There were interesting characters within the knitting group who I enjoyed spending time with. And Poppy does go through some strong personal growth throughout the story which is something that I always enjoying reading. I just wish I had been able to become more invested in the “and a girl” part of the story. I think that if I had, it would pulled all of the components of the story together for me.
Rating: 3 Stars
*I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**