Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Audible Book Review: The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood


If you appreciate and enjoy women's fiction filled with complex characters, then you'll want to pick up a copy of The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. 

After losing her only child unexpectedly, Mary Baxter joins a knitting circle. Though unsure why she is there, Big Alice, Scarlet, Lulu, Beth, Harriet, and Ellen welcome Mary into their circle, each teaching her a technique. As these women share their talents, they reveal their own stories of love, loss, and hope. While these women's lives become woven together, Mary is finally able to share her own grief journey, which allows her to reclaim the love for her husband, face the hard truths about her difficult relationship with her mother, and find a spark of life again. 

The Knitting Circle might be one of the most emotional books I have ever read. Drawing from her experience of losing her young daughter unexpectedly, Hood expertly crafts a heartrending story of a woman's grief journey: the roller coaster of emotions, the wanting to feel better while not knowing how, when nothing feels like it can ever be the same again, when happiness feels as distant as where the horizon meets the ocean while standing on the shoreline. Hood portrays well a couple in crisis, facing grief in their own ways, while struggling to stay connected as a couple. She creates complex backstories that cling to the reader's heart and refuse to let go. 

Narrator Hillary Huber brought all these characters to life for me as I listened. The sultry, husky voice of Scarlet, the joy and hope of Beth, the hardened perspective of Harriet, and the sincere desire of Mary's mother to reconnect with her daughter.

The Knitting Circle is not a book I can say I enjoyed. However, I appreciated the masterful storytelling of Hood, the expert narration of Huber, and the glimmer of hope found at the end. The material is tough to read about; maybe even tougher to think about. These characters endured a great deal, which is what makes this such an amazing read. When an author can push every character to their limits and still leave the reader satisfied with the story, she has done a fabulous job. 

Listening Length9 hours and 50 minutes
AuthorAnn Hood
NarratorHillary Huber
Whispersync for VoiceReady
Audible.com Release DateMarch 26, 2007
PublisherBlackstone Audio, Inc.
Program TypeAudiobook
I grabbed a free copy of this book on Audible. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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