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The knitting circle
Ann Hood
Adult Fiction HOOD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mary Baxter
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Grieving over the sudden death of her only child; joins a knitting group to pass the empty hours and lonely days; slowly returns to her job as reporter for a local newspaper; husband leaves her for another woman.
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Scarlet
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