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The Knitting Circle
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The uplifting and heartwarming novel you need to read this year

About the Author

Ann Hood was born in Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in American Literature and worked as a flight attendant for TWA for 8 years. Whilst working as a flight attendant, Ann got a Master's degree from New York University, also in American Literature. She lived in NYC until 1993 when she re-met and married someone she knew in high school. Ann then moved back to Rhode Island and had a son, Sam, who is now 14. Her daughter Grace died in 2002 when she was 5; as a result, she adopted a baby from China last year, Annabelle, who is now 3.

Reviews

Following her first story collection, An Ornithologist's Guide to Life, Hood's latest novel is definitely gloomy, but the beautiful language and convincing characters make it a worthwhile read. After the sudden death of her five-year-old daughter, Stella, Mary Baxter is advised by her mother that learning to knit will take her mind off her grief. When she joins the local knitting circle, she learns that all of its members have a tragic story as well. As she starts knitting and develops a group of friends who understand the depths of loss, Mary's grief begins to heal, allowing her to return to work, repair her marriage, and learn a terrible secret from her mother. The novel follows a predictable strategy: we hear the story of Mary's tragedy and then that of each member of the knitting circle in turn, as Mary learns a new stitch from each person. The theme of a group of women working together to heal grief is classic, however, and Hood draws her characters sympathetically if unsparingly. Recommended for most libraries-this book will appeal to Oprah readers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/06.]-Amy Ford, St. Mary's Cty. Lib., Lexington Park, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Praise for The Knitting Circle 'Just like a woolly jumper, this book is cosy and perfect for long winter nights! ... truly heartwarming.' Closer Magazine Praise for Ann Hood: 'A heartbreaker' Vanity Fair 'An engrossing storyteller ! [This book] works its magic.' Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees 'What a gift for Ann Hood, who suffered a loss nearly identical to Mary Baxter's, to have made of her grief.' Newsday 'Memorably stirring and authentic.' Los Angeles Times Book Review 'Ann Hood writes with the ease of a born storyteller.' Chicago Tribune

While mourning the death of her daughter, Hood (An Ornithologist's Guide to Life) learned to knit. In her comeback novel, Mary Baxter, living in Hood's own Providence, R.I., loses her five-year-old daughter to meningitis. Mary and her husband, Dylan, struggle to preserve their marriage, but the memories are too painful, and the healing too difficult. Mary can't focus on her job as a writer for a local newspaper, and she bitterly resents her emotionally and geographically distant mother, who relocated to Mexico years earlier. Still, it's at her mother's urging that Mary joins a knitting circle and discovers that knitting soothes without distracting. The structure of the story quickly becomes obvious: each knitter has a tragedy that she'll reveal to Mary, and if there's pleasure to be had in reading a novel about grief, it's in guessing what each woman's misfortune is and in what order it will be exposed. The strength of the writing is in the painfully realistic portrayal of the stages of mourning, and though there's a lot of knitting, both actual and metaphorical, the terminology's simple enough for nonknitters to follow and doesn't distract from the quick pace of the narrative. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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