The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood is a beautiful book about a painful subject. Mary Baxter and her husband, Dylan, are shell shocked after their only daughter, 5 year old Stella, dies suddenly and unexpectedly from bacterial meningitis. In the months of grief that follow, Mary’s relationships are faltering; she stops going to work, struggles to communicate with her husband, can barely speak to her mother. This is the story of how Mary learns to live again.
At the urging of her mother, Mary joins a knitting circle. She finds knitting therapeutic and distracting, just what she needs. She begins to learn more about the other people in the circle and all the reasons they are there, reasons that include suffering, tragedy, and loss.
But I don’t want you to think this is a story to avoid because it’s too sad. It IS sad, but it’s also inspiring, and shows the restorative power of friendship and reaching out to others.. how sharing our pain can lighten the load. It is a heartfelt story of hope that I read in 2 sittings, stopping only to sleep and eat.
Hood, who lost her own daughter to a virulent strain of strep (also at age 5), writes from heartbreaking personal experience. The novel rings so true, and I ached for Mary (and also for Ms. Hood) as she went from the depths of her grief to the beginnings of healing. This book is wonderful and I highly recommend it.
Visit Ann Hood’s website HERE
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