The Knitting Circle: Ann Hood

I read this book because I was going to join in on a book club while I was in Texas. This didn’t happen, but I still read the book.

Sheesh, it was sad! It was one of those books where you really delved into the characters and the overall sadness they were experiencing. Each person involved in the knitting circle has a deep tragedy they are dealing with and knitting helps them get through it somehow. Or really, having each other to lean on does.

Anyways, it’s a good book though pretty sad and dark at times. I’m still glad I read it and I recommend it with 4 stars.

While mourning the death of her daughter, Hood (An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life) learned to knit. In her comeback novel, Mary Baxter, living in Hood’s own Providence, R.I., loses her five-year-old daughter to meningitis. Mary and her husband, Dylan, struggle to preserve their marriage, but the memories are too painful, and the healing too difficult. Mary can’t focus on her job as a writer for a local newspaper, and she bitterly resents her emotionally and geographically distant mother, who relocated to Mexico years earlier. Still, it’s at her mother’s urging that Mary joins a knitting circle and discovers that knitting soothes without distracting. The structure of the story quickly becomes obvious: each knitter has a tragedy that she’ll reveal to Mary, and if there’s pleasure to be had in reading a novel about grief, it’s in guessing what each woman’s misfortune is and in what order it will be exposed. The strength of the writing is in the painfully realistic portrayal of the stages of mourning, and though there’s a lot of knitting, both actual and metaphorical, the terminology’s simple enough for nonknitters to follow and doesn’t distract from the quick pace of the narrative.

Paperback: 352 pages Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st Norton Pbk. Ed edition (January 17, 2008) Language: English ISBN-10: 0393330443

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