I've had the The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood in my 'to be read' pile for almost four years now. I am glad that I finally listened to the unabridged audio version of this novel, which was well narrated by Hillary Huber.
Listening time for The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood is 9 hours, 50 minutes.
The Knitting Circle is the first novel I've read by author Ann Hood. I am a knitter (on hiatus currently), so I was initially drawn to this novel for the sheer fact that this novel focused on knitting, a knitting circle, and the restorative way in which knitting works as therapy for those dealing with loss, depression, and more. It's true that knitting can provide a source of comfort as well as build camaraderie among those in a knitting circle. I've read quite a few articles on the benefits of knitting itself... But I digress.
In The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood, we find the main character of Mary Baxter in a deep state of grief over the loss of her young daughter, Stella, to meningitis. Mary is barely functioning beyond the basics. Her grief over the loss of her daughter is palpable. Essentially the grief is effecting Mary's daily life and her relationship with her husband and others.
It isn't until Mary's mother urges her to take up knitting near the start of the novel, that Mary finally relents and takes up knitting reluctantly. From there we learn more about Mary throughout the rest of the novel and also about the rest of the knitters in the knitting circle she joins. Each person we meet that is part of the knitting circle is currently or has dealt with loss, grief, or adversity in some way and is some how helped by the restorative nature of learning to knit and communing with others in knitting as a group.
By the end of The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood, we see every one of the characters in a new light. Mary has changed for the better... And we also discover the reason behind why Mary's mom was so distant with her throughout most of Mary's life.
Below is the publisher's summary for The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood from Amazon:
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.
I am giving The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post happy, reading!