.

.

January 4, 2019

The Knitting Circle



The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
Fiction
2007 W.W. Norton & Company
Finished on June 21, 2018
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

After the loss of her only child, Mary Baxter finds herself unable to read or write, the activities that used to be her primary source of comfort. She reluctantly joins a knitting circle as a way to fill her lonely days--not knowing it will change her life. As they teach Mary new knitting techniques, the women in the circle also reveal their own secrets of loss, love, and hope. With time, Mary is finally able to tell her own story of grief, and in so doing finds the spark of life again.

Last year I read The Book That Matters Most, (Ann Hood's latest novel centered around a book club and the power of the written word) and immediately wanted to read more of her books. The Knitting Circle has been on my radar for many years, so I decided it was high time to pull it off the shelf and give it a read. Over the years, I've been drawn to books about grief and Hood's novel, which is drawn on her own raw experience of losing a child, is powerful and poignant without feeling too saccharine or overly sentimental. As with The Book That Matters Most, I was quickly drawn into the story and didn't have any trouble keeping track of all the characters and their own burdens, which tends to be a problem with some of the "friendship" novels I've read in the past. I'm not a knitter, but I enjoyed reading the details about learning how to knit and all the various stitches and patterns involved in the craft. 

I also enjoyed reading Hood's nonfiction book, Morningstar: Growing Up With Books (reviewed here) and am eager to read more of her books. The Obituary Writer and The Italian Wife are appealing, as is The Red Thread. I love discovering an author with a decent backlist on which to catch up. Ann Hood is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!

Is there anyone who can write about the connections of ordinary people better than Ann Hood? ~Jodi Picoult

8 comments:

  1. I listened to this book several years ago and loved it. I'm not a knitter, either, but actually considered taking it up as I listened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I really enjoy Ann Hood's writing! My mom's a knitter, but I never learned.

      Delete
  2. I really like Hood's books that I've read. The Book That Matters Most, in fact, made my favorites of 2018 list. And I picked it up based on your review. I'm pretty sure I bought this one for my Kindle also based on your mention of it, though I haven't read it yet. I've read The Red Thread several years ago. Was interested because of the adoption in China theme because of our nieces. I liked it as I recall, but maybe not as much as TBTMM. I want to reread it though and read this one. I do love reading about knitting and quilting groups in fiction. I can't even sew on a button, but I still like to read about these pursuits in fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay, I really enjoyed The Book That Matters Most. I'm very interested in reading The Red Thread and will probably read that one next before The Obituary Writer. I love that I still have more books of hers to look forward to. I'm definitely not a knitter. I can thread a needle and sew on a button, but that's about the most of my crafting skills!

      Delete
  3. I’ve never read any of her books but I’ve put this one on my list because I’m sure I’d like it after reading your review. And I am a knitter so that adds to my interest! Thanks, Les!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin, I think it's one you'd enjoy, especially since you are a knitter. You're welcome!

      Delete
  4. When my dad passed away I was drawn to a lot of fiction that explored grief too. I felt like I was looking for answers as to what was "normal" or how to cope. I think I would like this one a lot because I may not be a knitter but I totally enjoy crafting and being a part of a craft group so this sounds right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iliana, I've been drawn to books about grief (both fiction and nonfiction) ever since our daughter died. With my dad's death in November, that interest has been renewed for the same reasons you mentioned. It helps to have one's feelings validated in times like these. I think you'd enjoy this novel and the community of crafters Hood creates in the story.

      Delete

I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!