Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this review because Heather Ordover and I are both Captains in the Starship. I have not been paid for this review, I just like the book!
I started Heather’s newest novel, Grounded, with some skepticism, to be honest. I love MamaO and I’m a huge fan of her podcast, CraftLit. And I really do love to knit, current funk aside. However, I really can’t stand fiction books about knitting. The very few I’ve tried to read have felt so hokey with the author injecting contrived knitting metaphors every chance s/he gets. For me, the whole plot seems nothing more than an excuse for the author to mention that s/he is a knitter. Oh and did you know they know the difference between Fair Isle and intarsia? Did they let you know that they’re a knitter? Because they are.
I should have had more faith in Heather’s skill as a writer. She answered my unspoken prayer for a novel that prominently features knitting without cramming it down the reader’s throat.
The protagonist, Hannah Rose, is a 17 year old knitter from Arizona who is whisked away to pre-September 11th Brooklyn after she accidentally set her ex-boyfriend on fire. With her mind. Oops! The book, part one of a series, focuses on Rosie’s psychic training and budding romance.
I also avoid books with teenaged protagonists because, like the knitting thing, most authors have no idea how to write them well. Even JK Rowling. They’re either caricatures of angst (Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley this means you!) or far too mature and wordy (Dawson’s Creek) to be believable. Hannah Rose and her friends are neither. HR is spunky! And feisty! She has a sense of self worth. Most of all, she isn’t obnoxious and acknowledges when she’s being a snot.
Heather Ordover knows teenagers and knows how to write them so they appear far more human than they sometimes act. Her women and girls are written like normal people as are her male characters. I sometimes feel like there is recently a deficit in authors who can write normal characters. Thank goodness for Mama O. She writes people who are interesting, quirky but not strange straw men.
You can order either a hard copy or ebook over at Heather’s shop and pick up some Grounded inspired sock patterns while you’re at it. She’s also inviting anyone who feels inspired to design patterns based on the series and charge for them. So break out the knitting needles and create fan fiction patterns.