Knitting Under the Influence

Three L.A. girlfriends keep it together with their Sunday morning knitting circle in LaZebnik’s sophomore warm-fuzzy (after Same as It Never Was). Charming, irresponsible Kathleen Winters is dependent on her identical twin sisters (semi-famous actresses reminiscent of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) for a paycheck and a home. After drunkenly spilling family secrets to a reporter, she sets off in a turquoise Mini Cooper to find an apartment and job of her own. Meanwhile, scientific researcher Lucy Cameron questions her career and love life as her lab and her self-righteous boyfriend become the targets of animal rights activists. Sari Hill faces the deepest conflict of all when the same “good-looking asshole” who tortured her brother in high school shows up with his autistic son at the autism clinic where she works. Each young woman re-examines her beliefs as the knitting projects—a hot pink bikini, a midnight blue baby blanket, a sweater—pass by. The tangled paths to three satisfying resolutions are marked by hot sex, an adorable gray kitten and, above all else, girl talk. LaZebnik juggles periods of personal crisis while maintaining her characters’ complex individuality. Social knitters, especially, will relate to the bond that strengthens over the click-clack of the girls’ needles. (Sept. 14) 


46 responses to “Knitting Under the Influence

  1. Mary-Lou

    Hi Claire!

    Just wanted to tell you how much I loved the book! It was a fun read, I NEVER wanted to put it down and I’m sad that I’m done with it now. I mostly related to Sari, I also have a brother with autism who is younger than me. I couldn’t believe how much I felt I related to her. I am a senior in college and have my degree in Early Childhood Education, but I’ve been thinking about getting a job working with children with Autism and going to get my masters in special education. Thanks to the help of your book.I also read that you are from MA and your oldest son has autism. I’m from the Cape. . I hope your son is doing good. Best wishes to you and your family. And thank you, you have truly touched me by writing this book and hope to see more like it or even a part II or a movie would be awesome! 🙂

  2. Claire

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know. I’d love to see a movie made of it too–just need a studio to see it that way!

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  4. Lori

    I really enjoyed this book!! I could not put it down. I too would like to see this book turned into a movie!!!! Who do you have to talk to, to do that?? We need to get that rolling!

  5. Claire

    Yeah, even when I was writing this one, I thought, “This would make a good movie.” So far, though, no one in position to do anything about it agrees. Ah, well. Thanks for writing! I’m glad you liked it.

  6. Liz

    I recently got your book knitting under the influence and I had a question. Is this a series or going to be one. I honestly have to say i just started reading it today so i am sure i will love it.

  7. Claire

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying it, Liz. It’s not a series–it’s a stand-alone book–but I do have another 5 Spot book out (THE SMART ONE AND THE PRETTY ONE) and I’m finishing up one more for them that’s still untitled and will be out in a year or so. Thanks for writing.

  8. Anonymous

    things about your books keep getting betterand better. there seems to be no flaw to your novels and i wont be one to find them. you are a great author and seem to be a great person, keep writing and ill keep trying to find your books on my budget

  9. Karina

    I just finished reading this book and absolutely loved it! You are one wonderfully talented author.

    I had been in one of those reading slumps where nothing you pick up seems to keep you interested when I read Same As It Never Was. It was fabulous so I rushed out to get this book. All I can say is that it’s a great read and I practically devoured it!

    Nothing like a good book to help me wind down from finals 😉 Thanks

  10. Claire

    That’s just about the nicest thing anyone could say to me. Thank you, Karina. You have good timing too–I’m just finishing up the manuscript for the next 5 Spot book and the insecurity always starts creeping in right around now. It really helps to know people are enjoying the other books!

  11. Nicole Curtin

    Just finished reading this book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I like how you bring your life into the book with the references to Autism. As a Mom of a 6-year old autistic (PDD-NOS) girl, it really touches me. I expect by year’s end I will have read all your books. So keep writing! I look forward to more!

  12. Claire

    Thanks so much, Nicole! I got to put in a lot of stuff I fervently believe about working with kids in the spectrum–but in a fun, fictional context. I enjoyed that.

  13. Missy

    This book was amazing. After I’d finished reading The Smart One And The Pretty One (I loved Ava!) I had to find another one of your books, and it happened to be this one. I couldn’t stop reading it. I just love your writing style and characterisation. Please write more books for me to read. With more characters like Sari. Now 😛 The two of your books that I have read helped me get through my GCSE exams (I live in England) so thank you for that. And that’s all really. You’re really talented. (: xx

  14. Claire

    Thanks so much, Missy! Did you buy the books in England? I’m curious if they’re being sold there. I have another book coming out in a year, also from 5 Spot (it’s pretty much done, but these things are in production forever). I wish I could give you the title but I still don’t have one. Titles are hard.

  15. Missy

    You’re very welcome Claire. 🙂 It’s still the same Missy here, by the way, but I’m on a different computer. I actually borrowed them from the library (in England, of course) but I’m pretty sure I could find a retailer that sold them. I could look for you, if you like? There are several book shops near me. A year?! Gosh. I suppose I can just reread until then. 😛 Well, I like your titles very much when you come up with them. (: Especially Knitting Under The Influence, I thought that was a hilarious title. x

  16. Jasmine

    This book was awsome. I couldn’t put it down and I found myself reading it at 3am. I loved how all the the characters were so well formed that i wanted to be there friends and knit with them. So i just wanted to say thank you for writting such an amazing book. And i have a question, is there going to be a sequel?

  17. Claire

    Nothing in the works for a sequel to this one–but maybe to The Smart One and The Pretty One. I’m so glad you enjoyed it (but sorry if I ruined your sleep–hope you got to sleep in late the next morning). Thanks for writing!

  18. Ruthie

    Dear Claire,

    I actually had your book in my closet with my knitting yarn for over a year. I heard some ladies in Barnes and Noble talking about it and when home starting reading.
    Your story is beautiful…I’ am a writer and knitter. So Kudo’s to you on a job well
    done. I better look deeper in my closet. I just might find another one of your books.

    All the best to you,

    Yonkers, NY

  19. Claire

    What a lovely note! Thanks so much, Ruthie. I have a closet full of yarn too–maybe I should start poking around in there, see what I can find!

  20. I bought this book today! I’m so excited to read it!

  21. I couldn’t put it down! I bought it this morning so I would have something to do while I waited in between my haircut and my massage appointments (yes, we all need a little pampering sometimes) and I just finished it. I haven’t read an entire book in one day in so long. At least not a book that I was reading for the first time. It was so freaking fantastic, I forgot that I was reading! Do you ever feel like that? It’s very rare for me, even though I love reading, and even more rare now that I write myself. Now I have to go find a bookstore with Same as it Never Was.

  22. Pingback: God, I love to read… « I Picked Up a Pen One Day…

  23. Claire

    I’m so happy to hear that, Rachel! Thanks for writing.

  24. RC

    Hi Claire! What a brilliantly, funny, inspiring book for women! Thank you! I deeply enjoyed all 3 characters. I was in longing when the book ended. I was wondering if you have thought about continuing the knitting circle adventures and there cast of characters through out their lives? I would love to read a series of books f/this original! Almost like Jan Karon and the mitford books. I am going to hope to see you continue your brilliance with this one. Again thank you! BTW I live in watertown, MA.

  25. Claire

    I’m trying to reply directly through email–I wonder if this will work. If so: THANK YOU for the lovely comment. It made my day. I’m not planning on a sequel but you never know. How are things in Watertown? So close to Newton . . .

  26. sue molstead

    I read “The Smart One and the Pretty One” and loved it so I immediately went to Amazon and ordered “Same as it Never Was” and “Knitting Under the Influence”. I enjoyed all of them and am looking forward to your next book. My comment, though, concerns the topic of drinking in “Knitting Under the Influence”. Your characters seem to drink a lot in all your books and that bothers me a lot. In “Same as it Never Was” Olivia stops drinking when it appears to become a problem. In “Knitting Under the Influence” all 3 young women drink often and to the point of drunkeness often. They shop while in this condition and it is never shown to be inappropriate or bad. They appear to be unable to be in a social situation without drinking. When problem drinking is getting to epidemic proportions among young people in our country, I think your handling of this subject shows a lack of responsibility for the influence you may have on young women reading your books. You make it appear that this kind of behavior is cool and not a bad thing at all. This is definitely not the impression you should be trying to make on young people. I think you are a very good writer and I have a hard time putting the books down once I start but, I hope in the future, your characters have a little more character.

  27. Claire

    Thank you, Sue, for a really thought-provoking email. I don’t disagree with you at all. In that book I was going with a “they’re young, they don’t have a lot of responsibility, they can take chances” kind of vibe but you make a valid point, and I’d hate to send the wrong message. In most of my books I also try to make it clear that the characters use birth control, but I think I was less careful in KUI than in the others to do that. I can honestly say that I’ll take your comment to heart and really think about these issues in future novels. I’m working on a YA novel right now and the teenagers in it don’t drink at ALL–I think I was more careful with that age group because I have teenagers of my own.

  28. Marsha

    Reading this book now. It is very hard to put down!! It is so funny. Now thinking of taking up knitting. Sad to say I didn’t know much about autism. Just felt in love with little Zack. You are such a great writer and hope to see other books by you.

  29. Julie

    Hi Claire,
    If you were to write a sequel, how would the three girls turn out? Please tell me Sari is still with Jason! Oh, how do you pronounce her name? Is it like the Indian sari?

  30. Claire

    I actually knew someone named Sari and she pronounced it like Sarah but with an “ee” ending. So I hear it like that.

    Of course she’s still with Jason (and Zack)!

  31. I read a Sports Illustrated article today that reminded me of you (and Sari, Jason, and Zack). It was about a Canadian twelve-year old autistic boy who found his rhythm in life through golf. His father was also a single parent trying to guide his son through life.

  32. Claire

    That’s so neat, Rachel. I’ll have to google it.

  33. It is in the July 5, 2010 issue

  34. Hay Dude , i with ur blog. i will come to your blog again tomorrow

  35. Debbie

    I really enjoyed your book the Smart One and the Pretty One which I just read. I am interested in purchasing the Knitting Under the Influence and Same as it Never Was but I cannot find them. Chapters in Toronto, Ont. Canada are telling me that they are no longer available. Am I able to find these books anywhere? Hope you can help me.

    I am disappointed that I am unable to read more of your books as I think you are an excellent writer.

  36. First Of All, allow me to commend your lucidity with this subject. I am not professional on this subject, but after learning your write-up, my knowledge has created substantially. Please allow me to seize your rss or atom nourish stay contact with any forthcoming updates. Authentic job and can give it to admirers and my website fans.

  37. Eddie

    Hey Claire,

    Is there a t-shirt with your book cover on it? It would make for a cool gift this season.


  38. Claire

    That’s such a great idea! I think the publisher has the rights, not me, and a very talented woman named Claire Brown did the actual design, but I’d love to see it on a tee-shirt. Wish it existed.


  39. Hello, purchased your book last’m not liking it as much as i hoped. I think ill put it down for now, and try re-reading at a later time. Thanks for writing…

  40. Ashlee

    I’ve recently been in a reading funk (I haven’t read a book since the summer) and when I recently found your book while just browsing the discount section in Barnes and Noble, I read the summary and was instantly taken with it! I actually bought this book and I haven’t done that in a while because I haven’t found a book worthy of my money. I’m actually thinking of borrowing Sari, Lucy and Kathleen’s idea of knitting with friends. I do wish it was a series, until then I will read your other books because I’ve just become a fan of your writing.

  41. Claire

    Thank you so much! I’m really happy to hear that.

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  43. Pingback: Authors that deserve some lovin’! (1) Claire LaZebnik

  44. Adora Marchi

    I just finished your book & thoroughly enjoyed it! Is there going to be a follow up book to continue the story? If so I’d love to read it. Thanks 😀

  45. Pingback: Claire LaZebnik: ‘Ik kon niet wachten om naar mijn laptop te gaan en aan één stuk door te schrijven’ | Boekhopper

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