Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
Published by: Norton
Release Date: January 1, 2007
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
ISBN: 0393059014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Women's Fiction / Chick Lit

About The Author:

Ann Hood was born in West Warwick, Rhode Island. She grew up with stories of her father's travels around the world during his 20 years in the Navy. These stories inspired her to become a flight attendant for TWA after receiving her BA in English from the University of Rhode Island. She lived in Boston and St. Louis before moving to New York City, where she attended graduate school at NYU in American Literature. 

She is the author of the bestselling novels The Red Thread, The Knitting Circle and Somewhere Off The Coast of Maine. Her memoir, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, in which she shares her personal story of losing her 5 year old daughter Grace in 2002, was a New York Times Editor's Choice and named one of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2008.

Her essays and short stories have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, More, Tin House, Ploughshares and The Paris Review. Ann has won a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and two Pushcart Prizes. She now lives in Providence, RI with her husband and children.  

GET THE BOOK: The Knitting Circle Book Description:

In the spirit of How to Make an American Quilt and The Joy Luck Club, a novel about friendship and redemption. After the sudden loss of her only child, Stella, Mary Baxter joins a knitting circle in Providence, Rhode Island, as a way to fill the empty hours and lonely days, not knowing that it will changer her life. Alice, Scarlet, Lulu, Beth, Harriet and Ellen welcome Mary into their circle despite her reluctance to open her heart to them. Each woman teaches Mary a new knitting technique, and, as they do, they reveal to her their own personal stories of loss, love and hope. Eventually, through the the hours they spend knitting and talking together, Mary is finally able to tell her own story of grief, and in so doing reclaims her love for her husband, faces the hard truths about her relationship with her mother, and finds the spark of life again.

My Book Review:

What would you do if your five year old daughter, your only child, suddenly dies from meningitis? Would you be able to pick up the pieces of your life, after your whole world has come crashing down? Would you ever be able to have joy, happiness and love again? These are the questions that Mary Baxter had to deal with in The Knitting Circle

Mary and Dylan Baxter were living the good life, each was successful in their professions, she was a reviewer for a local newspaper and he was an attorney. They had a happy home life that included their cherished only child, five year old Stella. Their happy little world came crashing down with the sudden death of Stella to meningitis. As they struggled with the the pain of their loss and the grieving process, their marriage starts to crumble as Mary sinks into a deep depression, unwilling and unable to allow anyone, including Dylan, to help her move on with her life. Paralyzed by her grief, Mary is unable to work, socialize, or perform normal daily activities. Upon the constant unwanted urging of her estranged mother, Mary joins a local knitting circle, even though she doesn't know how to knit. Mary is warmly welcomed into the Wednesday night knitting circle by Alice, owner of Big Alice's Sit and Knit, and the rest of the members: Scarlet, Lulu, Ellen, Beth and Harriet. At first, Mary is reluctant to share her story with the other ladies, but as each teaches her new knitting techniques, they also share their own personal stories of love, loss, hope and recovery ... for everyone has secrets and a story to tell. Through their mutual love of knitting and comforting companionship, the ladies of the knitting circle form a strong bond of friendship that helps Mary to heal and start living her life again. 

The Knitting Circle is a beautifully written and poignant story that pulled at my heartstrings. The author weaves a deeply moving and emotional story about the trauma of loss, the stages of grief, and how through a strong bond of friendship through knitting one stitch at a time, people can recover and learn to live a happy life again. This is a painfully realistic portrayal of the grieving process that every person will experience at some time in their life, but mixed with the interesting concept of learning how to knit, one can find the soothing and comforting peace to help their wounded heart and spirit heal. 

This story is semi-autobiographical that mirrors the author's own personal tragic loss of her young daughter to a rare form of strep, and while grieving she learned to knit. 



  1. Hi, Kathleen,
    I just left you a comment on "Nurturing..." What a good review from you on this book, which I can hardly wait to read! I have a copy in my stacks. If only we could read 24 hrs. a day...forever!
    I'm a new follower of yours.
    Please stop by and see my review of "Proof of Heaven" if you can. It's a similar story..only so tragic about a young boy who keeps having death episodes.
    Wishing you all the best!

  2. Hi Deborah! Thank you for the kind comment, I appreciate it. I loved your review of "Proof of Heaven," and placed it on my TBR list. I am also a new follower of yours. I am a Jane Austen lover too! :)