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Publisher's Summary

In the spirit of The Joy Luck Club comes this novel about friendship and redemption.

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.

Critic Reviews

"The strength of the writing is in the painfully realistic portrayal of the stages of mourning." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Knitting Circle

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    226
  • 4 Stars
    138
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    12
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    192
  • 4 Stars
    88
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    181
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Almost Relentlessly Dreary

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.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Tear-jerker, and not in a good way

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Knitting Review

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a book for Knitters & non-knitters alike

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I am a knitter

I absolutely loved this story. It made me reminisce about when and why I learned to knit.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Knit me pearl me out!!

Terrible. Boring and predictable. A slow, dragging death of a listen. I deeply regret this purchase.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful. Lovely. Perfect.

This was recommended to me after finishing another fantasy/sci-fi novel, and I was curious. As a lover of audiobooks, an avid knitter (on a break), and someone who has a cornucopia of mental musings- this was exactly what I needed. The writing was incredible but not to heavy. The emotions and depth each character shared felt realistic. The acceptance and healing power of knitting, community, support, and love. It was beautiful. I’m sure this is a book I’ll keep coming back to and finding new pearls/purls of wisdom therein.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm Glad I Was Drawn In

Anytime I was wanting a new listen, I kept being drawn to this title and would put it off and put it off. I decided it was time and now this is one of my all time favorites!!!! Please read this absolutely beautiful story of grief and life after.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

rated R

if this was a movie it would be rated R, i have no doubt. the F word is used often. as is the Lords name taken in vain at least 100x. several cases of adultry. several sex scenes. beyond these points this was a powerful story of pain loss and healing. a very realistic view of overwhelming loss, and a beautiful show that we are never as alone as we think we are.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Warning!

This is an interesting journey into the lives of people with losses. Not always and easy listen. It speaks to many way of different healing process and the binding connections those losses create especially among women. I really do not want to discourage someone from reading it as in a way a great way of “seeing” interrelations of women.