The Knot is odd. It follows the life of the protagonist, Dominic Kitchen, the youngest in the family. Far outshone by his two elder siblings, he rarely has an opinion to express or takes charge of the situation. Max, Dom’s older brother, goes to Oxford and gets an amazing job with one of his friend’s parents. Said friend, henceforth known as ‘The Cricketer’, catches Dom’s sister’s eye, and he and Victoria end up marrying. Dom is once again left out, and as the Cricketer’s career takes off, Victoria is taken away to Australia and around the world, away from Dom.
It takes the reader a while to notice the special connection between Dom and Victoria, who call one another ‘Old Girl’ and ‘Old Boy’. It is only when Victoria goes away, and Dom is left without her unmistakable presence and quick wit, that it becomes clear how close they were. Told from Dom’s perspective, it is never quite clear how Victoria feels, but for Dom, she is always on his mind.
Aside from his relationship with his sister, the reader also follows Dom throughout his life, from getting a job in a photography shop, where he meets Daley, through their wedding photography business, meeting his wife-to-be, having a baby, and that baby growing up, all alongside Dom’s tenuous relationship with his family.
The passing of time is slow in the beginning, and significantly speeds up as Dom gets older, meaning that the emphasis of the book lies in his younger years, despite the increasingly important events which take place towards the end of the book.
This is difficult book to review, because it is unexpected. Certain themes come out only at the last minute. The end, when first picking up the book, would seem unimaginable. The main event, is barely mentioned.
Overall, this is a book to sit down and read in a day. It’s not exactly confusing, but throws many curveballs towards the reader, and there is of course a compulsory good/bad ending, where Dom loses family and wins some back in one fell swoop. Not a masterpiece, but well worth a read.