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.
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.
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.
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.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
It became too formulaic, predictable and preposterous, the way each member of the Circle had her own horrific story to match or top that of the main character .
I liked a lot of the voices, especially Scarlett's soothing, tranquil, dreamlike voice and Lulu's youthful, slightly hoarse, city-girl twang.
No....please, no....enough over-the-top sad stories!
I liked the reminder to all of us that no matter what we might be going through in our own lives, SOMEONE ELSE ALWAYS HAS IT WORSE! A timely reminder to count one's blessings. Also: It inspired me to take up knitting again!!
This is the first audiobook I have tried. It was excellent. I love to knit, but I haven't mastered knitting and reading a book at the same time, so, this was a perfect option for me. I hope you make more knitting circle and knitting mystery books audiobooks.
A self help book because both have helped me through some very difficult times. The Knitting Circle was a book I could relate to since I too have lost a child.
The "affair" in Maine!
When each of the women "poured" their heart out and revealed their "story"
Please turn more books like this about knitting circles and knitting mysteries and knitting stories into audiobooks so I can continue to do my favorite things together, at the same time. Thank you.
I liked the individual stories, the gains and losses, the recapturing of what may have been lost. I liked the way the story threads lended themselves to the theme of knitting, how as there are stitches dropped from a needle so, too, there are dear people and things dropped in life; how what is built from a series of knots can/may unravel due ro nature or inattention. I liked the healing nature of a story about being productive.
Because I'm a knitter for some few decades now, I wasn't sold on the pace of the knitting projects and their alignments with place and time. Either I am extraordinarily slow or the characters worked with amazing speed. Nonetheless, an enjoyable read.
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