Friday, April 18, 2008
This book by Ann Hood was the perfect book to read on the heels of Stories from Rwanda. This story is a nice blend of familiar and predictable, with a few stereotypical characters sprinkled in, mixed with likeable characters and some good moments. Forty-something Mary Baxter has just lost her 5-year-old daughter and in desperation takes to knitting, which she has been assured will be strangely comforting. (Apparently this story is semi-autobiographical, as Hood lost her own 5-year-old daughter to a rare form of strep.) Eventually Mary joins a knitting circle and meets other women with tragic tales: cancer, assault, divorce, loss. Ultimately Mary and the others work through their grief by telling their stories and form a strong bond of friendship. It’s a story that’s been told a thousand times in as many different ways, but Hood is a good writer with strong, interesting characters.