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Publisher's Summary

In the spirit of The Joy Luck Club comes this novel about friendship and redemption. After the sudden loss of Stella, her only child, Mary Baxter joins a knitting circle in Providence, Rhode Island. Seeking a way to fill the empty hours and lonely days, she little realizes that the circle will change her life.
Alice, Scarlet, Lulu, Beth, Harriet, and Ellen welcome Mary into their circle, despite her reluctance to open her heart to them. Each woman teaches Mary a new knitting technique, and, as they do, they reveal to her their own personal stories of loss, love, and hope. Eventually, through the hours they spend knitting and talking together, Mary is able to tell her own story of grief. In doing so, she reclaims her love for her husband, faces the hard truths about her relationship with her mother, and finds the spark of life again.
©2007 Ann Hood (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"The strength of the writing is in the painfully realistic portrayal of the stages of mourning." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By J. C. Georgia on 06-06-08

Almost Relentlessly Dreary

I am sorry to have to say I was quite disappointed in this book. I found it dreary and rather pedestrian. In the circle, every character's story was unbelievably tragic, to the point where they became numbing. There was no light until the very end, and no comic relief at all, unless you count snide comments by the main character about others. I realize a book about a mother mourning her child is not meant to be a chuckle-fest. This is a story about a woman in the grips of what is clearly a severe clinical depression. (In fact, the redemptive power of knitting notwithstanding, I found myself wondering why her friends were not insisting she seek medical help and counseling.) But the biggest problem was that, surprisingly, the main character was extremely unsympathetic. She seemed to react more with annoyance than sadness when people tried to reach out to her. (This was not helped by the fact that the audio narrator gave the character a voice that was both grating and whiny.)

I am giving this book three stars, out of deep respect for what the author clearly went through with her own tragedy, and because the book comes to a positive conclusion eventually. But listeners interested in a well-written, touching knitting "yarn" are better off with "Knitting" by Anne Bartlett and "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs.

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25 of 28 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Gretchen SLP on 03-01-15

Absorbing listening during my daily commute

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It became too formulaic, predictable and preposterous, the way each member of the Circle had her own horrific story to match or top that of the main character .

If you’ve listened to books by Ann Hood before, how does this one compare?


What does Hillary Huber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked a lot of the voices, especially Scarlett's soothing, tranquil, dreamlike voice and Lulu's youthful, slightly hoarse, city-girl twang.

Do you think The Knitting Circle needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No....please, no....enough over-the-top sad stories!

Any additional comments?

I liked the reminder to all of us that no matter what we might be going through in our own lives, SOMEONE ELSE ALWAYS HAS IT WORSE! A timely reminder to count one's blessings. Also: It inspired me to take up knitting again!!

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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