Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Knitting Circle
By Ann Hood

I thought it was only fitting that since my friend Pat started her food blog with a post about my nephew Aaryn that I start this blog posting about a book she suggested and let me borrow, Ann Hood’s “The Knitting Circle.”

While some people might consider this book depressing, I think it can be somewhat of a catharsis for people who have recently – or perhaps not-so-recently – suffered a devastating loss. The book centers on Mary Baxter who is having a difficult time dealing with the death of her 5-year-old daughter. Aside from the inevitable and obvious depression, she doesn’t see that her marriage is crumbling around her and that the dynamics of her workplace are changing. Part of the latter is because she couldn’t force herself to go to work for weeks and weeks.

Mary must also deal with her mother, with whom she has long-standing issues. Partly to shut her mother up Mary joins a knitting circle her mother suggested. The group of women (and one man) in the circle are dealing with loss as well. Some recent; some long ago; some impending.

As the book progresses, we learn about the other members of the knitting circle as they open up to Mary. This, in turn, eventually, allows her to open up about her feelings concerning the death of her daughter. We also learn why Mary and her mother have the relationship they have.

And the knitting? Knitters know how relaxing it can be and how it feels to create something after you’ve lost something very important to you. Not that a scarf could ever replace a 5-year-old girl, but creating something brings you back into the world of the living.

My mother passed away five months before Pat suggested this book to me. Her mother died 40 years ago. I think part of the reason she let me borrow the book is that – although she’s told me – losing your mother never really gets any easier but you can always find someone to talk to about it.

I give "The Knitting Circle" 4 of 5:

Have you read it? What do you think?

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