"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

What would you do if your five year old daughter, your only child, suddenly dies from meningitis? Would you be able to pick up the pieces of your life, after your whole world has come crashing down? Would you ever be able to have joy, happiness and love again? These are the questions that Mary Baxter had to deal with in The Knitting Circle.

Mary and Dylan Baxter were living the goodlife, each was successful in their professions, she was a reviewer for a local newspaper and he was an attorney. They had a happy home life that included their cherished only child, five year old Stella. Their happy little world came crashing down with the sudden death of Stella to meningitis. As they struggled with the the pain of their loss and the grieving process, their marriage starts to crumble as Mary sinks into a deep depression, unwilling and unable to allow anyone, including Dylan, to help her move on with her life.

Paralyzed by her grief, Mary is unable to work, socialize, or perform normal daily activities. Upon the constant unwanted urging of her estranged mother, Mary joins a local knitting circle, even though she doesn't know how to knit. Mary is warmly welcomed into the Wednesday night knitting circle by Alice, owner of Big Alice's Sit and Knit, and the rest of the members: Scarlet, Lulu, Ellen, Beth and Harriet.

At first, Mary is reluctant to share her story with the other ladies,but as each teaches her new knitting techniques, they also share their own personal stories of love, loss, hope and recovery ... for everyone has secrets and a story to tell. Through their mutual love of knitting and comforting
companionship, the ladies of the knitting circle form a strong bond of friendship that helps Mary to heal and start living her life again.

The Knitting Circle is a beautifully written and poignant story that pulled at my heartstrings. The author weaves a deeply moving and emotional story about the trauma of loss, the stages of grief, and how through a strong bond of friendship through knitting one stitch at a time, people can recover and learn to live a happy life again.

This is a painfully realistic portrayal of the grieving process that every person will experience at some time in their life, but mixed with the interesting concept of learning how to knit, one can find the soothing and comforting peace to help their wounded heart and spirit heal.

This story is semi-autobiographical that mirrors the author's own personal tragic loss of her young daughter to a rare form of strep, and while grieving she learned to knit.

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