The Washington Post
The Knitting Circleby Hillary Huber
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 change her life. Alice, Scarlet, Lulu,/b>/i>/i>
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 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 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. By an "engrossing storyteller," this new novel once again "works its magic" (Sue Monk Kidd).
The Washington Post
- Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.47(w) x 6.54(h) x 1.17(d)
Meet the Author
Ann Hood is the author of seven novels and a short-story collection, An Ornithologist's Guide to Life. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, The Knitting Circle is the story of death, yes, but it is also the story of life - how it can be lived, how it should be lived. At the core of our narrative is Mary, a 40-something woman who has suffered the unbearable, the loss of her only child, Stella. Stricken with bacterial meningitis Stella died at the age of five. It seems that Mary's desire to live died with her. However, Mary has a very determined mother who knows that Mary must somehow find her way back into the world. To this end, she urges Mary to join an evening knitting circle at Big Alice's Sit and Knit. Mary acquiesces. Now, why Alice is called Big Alice we do not know as she stood a mere five feet tall. She spoke with a bit of a British accent and when Mary came to her shop saying that knitting was not really her thing. Alice's reply was that many had stood on her doorstep and said the same thing. She's a wise woman who gives Mary her first instruction and introduces her to the five other women who are members of the group. As the story evolves we discover that Scarlet, Lulu, Beth, Harriet and Ellen have also suffered greatly during their lives. Initially, Mary keeps to herself, not joining in the conversation. But, as each woman shows Mary something about knitting, the woman relates her personal story. Eventually, Mary is drawn in and is able to share her painful experience. Facing her grief openly enables her to once again relate to her remaining loved ones and the world in which she lives. Knowing that The Knitting Circle is an autobiographical novel adds to the poignancy of the tale as we are once again reminded of how very much we need one another. Hillary Huber, remembered for her fine narrations of The Light in the Piazza, A Map of Glass, and others, gives a superb reading. She segues easily between the different voices of the characters. Especially impressive is the slight change in timbre that makes it quite clear when fortyish Mary is speaking or 70-year-old Alice. Clearly Huber is an accomplished actress who adds greatly to the listener's enjoyment. - Gail Cooke
I am a knitter and that fact in combination with my appreciation of Ann Hood's writing prompted this purchase. I even bought it in audiotape format so I could knit and "read" simultaneously. I ended up listening to the story while on a long drive en route to a destination with no knitting involved. This is the story of women and what brings them together - their back stories, their strengths, their vulnerabilities, their relationships, and the one obvious common bond, in this case, a knitting circle. It could just as easily be a book club, bridge group, or community organization. It is a marvelous presentation of the people you know, are, or want to be. Definitely worth the read - but I recommend the listen!