Jun 27, 07
Read in March, 2007
I enjoyed every minute spent reading The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. Knitting is far more than just a device in this well-crafted tale. It provides the warmth and the intimacy, and is the central focus for a group of people (mostly women) who are in various stages of emotional distress.
The writing is straightforward and easy to read, and I can't offer enough praise about the expert craftsmanship used to propel the story. It's as though the author follows a pattern as simple as Knit One, Purl One (K-1, P-1) as she weaves together this unlikely group of people who form the Wednesday night knitting circle at Big Alice's shop, the "Sit and Knit."
The main character is Mary, and we follow her as she grieves over the sudden death of her five-year-old daughter, Stella. In addition, there is a relatively large cast of characters. Hood allows the reader to get to know each one as Mary gets to know them. Mary learns not only about a new stitch or a new pattern or project, but she also builds friendships through listening to stories illustrating a vast array of the human condition and various forms of grief. I was riveted to each tale told via memory from the characters, who had credited Big Alice, a knitting mentor to all, and in the case of Mary's mother, Mamie, an AA Sponsor as well, as they engaged in the craft of knitting to get through the difficult days as life goes marching on, indifferent to pain and suffering. They knit to save their lives.
The story comes full circle without being the least bit corny as Hood expertly "casts off." I was left thoroughly satisfied. Highly recommend.