After the sudden loss of Stella, her only child, Mary Baxter joins a knitting circle in Providence, Rhode Island. Seeking a way to fill the empty hours and lonely days, she little realizes that the circle will change 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 hours they spend knitting and talking together, Mary is able to tell her own story of grief. In doing so, she reclaims her love for her husband, faces the hard truths about her relationship with her mother, and finds the spark of life again.
©2007 Ann Hood; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"The strength of the writing is in the painfully realistic portrayal of the stages of mourning." (Publishers Weekly)
Pixel & word wrangler
I am sorry to have to say I was quite disappointed in this book. I found it dreary and rather pedestrian. In the circle, every character's story was unbelievably tragic, to the point where they became numbing. There was no light until the very end, and no comic relief at all, unless you count snide comments by the main character about others. I realize a book about a mother mourning her child is not meant to be a chuckle-fest. This is a story about a woman in the grips of what is clearly a severe clinical depression. (In fact, the redemptive power of knitting notwithstanding, I found myself wondering why her friends were not insisting she seek medical help and counseling.) But the biggest problem was that, surprisingly, the main character was extremely unsympathetic. She seemed to react more with annoyance than sadness when people tried to reach out to her. (This was not helped by the fact that the audio narrator gave the character a voice that was both grating and whiny.)
I am giving this book three stars, out of deep respect for what the author clearly went through with her own tragedy, and because the book comes to a positive conclusion eventually. But listeners interested in a well-written, touching knitting "yarn" are better off with "Knitting" by Anne Bartlett and "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs.
While Ann Hood has been known in the past as a fine writer of literary fiction, "The Knitting Circle" is a bit too sentimental, predictable, and tends to rely on cliche. The stories told by the women in the knitting circle are very similar to one another and don't really move the story forward. Overall, I was disappointed.
Touching story that keeps the reader's attention from beginning to end. Reader is excellent as is the entire story told through the eyes of the characters and their individual tragedies.
Loved this book! I work with avid knitters and I saw them in this book, it touched me over and over again, so worth your time! Plus, I might just pick up Knitting now.
I thought the main character was depressing. I know the story was about a tragedy, but it was hard for me to like her. She was boring, rude, selfish, and immoral. I felt like she didn't have many redeemable qualities. So It didn't make me feel much sympathy for her even though I should have. I think because I couldn't connect with the main character, the story dragged on. I just didn't like it that much.
This was my third and favorite audiobook.
I loved each of the characters and appreciated the way that knitting helped them through life challenges. Those who find knitting therapeutic will relate to this book. It made my long for a knitting circle of my own.
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