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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great uplifting book by Ann Hood
I have just finished this book after 3 days. This is a different type of book for me as I usually only read thrillers. The cover of the book caught my eye. I thought the book on the whole was excellent; very uplifting. I like Ann Hood's style of writing and I hope to read many more of hers. At times I got annoyed with Mary though - a bit too self centred.

I...
Published on 26 Jan 2008 by littleskippy

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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Emotional tale
This book is on a very similar theme to one by Debbie Macomber. It starts off with Mary who has recently lost her daughter to illness. Her whole life is falling apart and it isn't until her mother gets her in contact with Alice,who owns a knitting shop, that she starts to put her life back together.
It starts as a very gentle tale, but as it tells the stories of...
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Lindamobile


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great uplifting book by Ann Hood, 26 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Paperback)
I have just finished this book after 3 days. This is a different type of book for me as I usually only read thrillers. The cover of the book caught my eye. I thought the book on the whole was excellent; very uplifting. I like Ann Hood's style of writing and I hope to read many more of hers. At times I got annoyed with Mary though - a bit too self centred.

I started feeling better at the end of the book even though I am not a knitter (yet!) myself. I have had a lot of bad times recently and if you have been, or are, in a similar position I think you will like this book. I shed a few tears too!
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152 of 156 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars painful but beautiful, 16 Sep 2007
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The knitting blogs have been listing books with a knitting theme, and I've read a few. Generally they're pleasant little reads, sometimes with a pattern or two printed in the back, and I expected something like that when I picked up The Knitting Circle. Clearly I had not done my homework: this book by Ann Hood is richly textured and beautiful, if emotionally wrenching to read.

Hood lost her own young daughter to a sudden infectious illness. In this book she writes a compelling story of Mary Baxter's grief and recovery after the death of her five-year-old daughter Stella from bacterial meningitis. Mary is immobilized by her loss, and learns to knit through the long-distance machinations of her mother. The rhythm and predictability of knitting gradually begin to give her a focus; one stitch after another, one row after another, until a fabric is created. Time passes and something is achieved.

Mary soon learns that each of the other knitters meeting weekly at Alice's "Sit and Knit" has a tragic story. From lost wartime lover to brutal assault to recurring cancer to loved ones lost on 9/11, each knitter's story unfolds in turn. Their stories are linked through the knitting circle and Mary's slow, slow progress through her grief. Mary's relationship with her husband and her mother suffer from her lack of engagement, as well as her relationships at work. Gradually, like the fabric of knits and purls, Mary begins to be whole again.

Through most of this book there was a feeling of not much actually happening, but an intensity of feeling being expressed as the back-stories unfold; a darker, more introspective Decameron. Beautiful to read, painful but beautiful. Gradually the separate strands become more closely intertwined and in the last part of the book, by comparison, the action becomes more pronounced. This transition is a good fit if the reader sees it as a parallel to the stages of Mary's grief; though it could be seen as many loose ends being tied up in a rush.

You may read books more smoothly constructed and edited, or with more thorough development of the secondary characters. You may read memoirs that make your heart break over the death of a child -- the classic Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther, for example, or April Fool's Day by Bryce Courtenay. But if you are looking for a book tagged as a novel that rings painfully true, that takes you from deepest grief to the tendrils of healing and renewal, then this is the book for you. Knitting is optional, but you WILL want a box of tissues.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written tear jerker..., 17 Jan 2008
By 
Ms. D. J. Ferguson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Paperback)
I admit to having picked this book without reading the back, purely because it was called "The Knitting Circle" and having been reintroduced to knitting myself through a knitting group I was intrigued to see how many fictional books were popping up with this theme.

Within it's pages I found the moving and at times heartbreaking story of Mary, a women who have recently lost her only child, 5 year old Stella to meningitis. In the depths of her despair her wayward and absent mother seems unable to provide the support she needs until in a moment of clarity she arranges for "Big Alice" to invite Mary along to her Knitting Circle. And there begins Mary's journey, as each women gradually opens up and reveals their own hidden heartaches and tragedies and through the gentle, meditative effect of the knitting itself Mary begins to come back to herself and to life.

This book is made all the more poignant by the fact that author of this book, Ann Hood also lost her young daughter to sudden illness. A beautifully written book, which had me blinking back tears on more than one occasion.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Emotional tale, 26 Aug 2011
By 
Lindamobile (Plymouth England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Kindle Edition)
This book is on a very similar theme to one by Debbie Macomber. It starts off with Mary who has recently lost her daughter to illness. Her whole life is falling apart and it isn't until her mother gets her in contact with Alice,who owns a knitting shop, that she starts to put her life back together.
It starts as a very gentle tale, but as it tells the stories of the other women in the knitting circle it gets very emotional. All the women (and latterly one man) have come through a traumatic relationship or have serious personal problems: dead children, lost lovers gay and straight, illness of themselves or loved ones. The story is beautifully told and tells how they find solace in knitting and each other's friendship and how they rebuild their lives after loss. The bonus is that there is next to no bad language in it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's Egg, 4 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Kindle Edition)
After reading the reviews, I began the Knitting Circle with high hopes and, whilst at first I admit I was hooked (oh no, that's crochet ... err, on pins), by half way I was getting just a bit weary of so many miserable stories in one book. It was like one-upmanship for knitters, each of the women outdoing each other with tales of woe. I suppose the moral was however bad you think you've got it, someone else is suffering more. But by three-quarters of the way through, instead of feeling sorry for the women, it became so farfetched that I was finding it laughable. I'm sure not what the author intended. Maybe I'm just cynical, but unfortunately it was just too much misery in one group and one book! I was relieved when I could eventually cast off!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Knitting Circle, 28 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Kindle Edition)
First book I have read by Ann Hood and was drawn to it due to a renewed interest in knitting.

Thoroughly enjoyed it and became quite involved within the characters although Mary [lost her child due to illness] did become a little self-centred at times, but otherwise would highly recommend. Some twists and turns throughout, especially the mother / daughter relationships, along with the often hidden aspects of alchoholism, divorce, sexuality etc...

Will be recommending this book for a friends book club read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite enjoyable, 12 Sep 2011
By 
Nanasam (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the book but agree with the reader who thought there were just too many disasters for one small group of people.
I was also a bit surprised to find several typos throughout.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Knitting Circle, 16 May 2009
This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Paperback)
I really love this book. It's written very simply and maybe its not as in-depth and descriptive a novel as I usually read, but the simplicity just adds to the charm.
If you enjoy knitting this story will really resonate with you, and quite possibly bring a few tears to your eyes in the process!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The knitting circle, 28 Dec 2011
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J. Pritchard (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Kindle Edition)
A great read. Engaging and well written, it's quite the page turner and will certainly involve you emotionally. Some of the plot is predictable and somewhat contrived, but a worthwhile read nonetheless, especially at less than two quid :) I bought it on the basis of the title and price, and as a lot of other reviewers have stated too, I was pleasantly surprised.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a bit too much for this reader, 6 Sep 2011
By 
D. M. Dickson (Dordogne France and Solihull UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Knitting Circle (Kindle Edition)
Although the writing was excellent and the characters were believable and mostly likeable I did get to a stage half way through this when I found myself thinking that the author had drawn up a list of horrible things that could happen to a person and then doled them out one each to her characters. In the end it just didn't quite make it to believable, even though ones heart really does break at times for the family, in the end there were too many other disasters and dreadful happenings to believe that they would all gather together in one group. Could be wrong but it was just a step too far for me. Sorry
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