Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Knitting Circle

Hi Knitters,

I am not quite up to that exclamation point yet. I am starting simple today with a review of this beautifully written novel by Ann Hood.

The main character, Mary Baxter, suddenly loses her only daughter at age 5 to meningitis. It is a tragedy like no other, devastating and earth shattering. The story unfolds as she attempts to piece her life back together in a different world. You can feel the black cloud and fogginess that surrounds Mary as she tries to move through her daily life.

At the encouragement of her estranged mother, Mary starts to knit and attends a knitting circle at a local shop. Each of the women in the circle teach Mary a new knitting technique while sharing their own secret burden or tragedy in the process. I am not going to lie, this novel is on the dark side, if not downright depressing. However, it is beautifully and respectfully written and what I really love about it is how the knitters are portrayed. A lot of knitters are truly generous and loving and this quality shines through in the story. Knitting is portrayed in a lovely light as it is a source of comfort for these women.

In the end the message is uplifting. Life goes on and people have to carry on, maybe in a new or different way, but nonetheless moving forward. Ann Hood is the perfect writer to cover this topic as she lost her own young daughter recently. It broke my heart to learn this. It made the novel even more meaningful as Ann Hood lived through the terrible tragedy of losing a child first-hand.

I would recommend this book with the understanding that it is a sad story with a positive message running throughout.

best, susie

p.s. I've gotten the okay to write up the elefante pattern and share it with you. As soon as I can muster up the energy and focus, I will make that available to you. Thank you to everyone who has left comments or emailed me personally with warm wishes. I appreciate you all.

p.p.s. As I was writing this post, the doorbell rang and the second pass proofs for my second book have arrived at my door for me to edit. This will be a good distraction.