We were up at the Bluegrass Festival of Books in Lexington (where my sister Karen lives) this weekend. I'll write a lot more about it soon and about going to a Yarn Harlot talk with muggles in tow. I'm a bit under the weather today, so this is just a quick post to recommend one of the books that I purchased at the book fair.
To be honest, I wasn't really planning on buying The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. Yes, I love knitting but novels about knitting? That seems a bit obsessive. We arrived at the book festival just in time to listen to a panel of knitting authors. I think it was basically an "all the knitting authors at the festival except the Yarn Harlot" panel. In addition to Ann Hood, there was also Susan Anderson of Itty-Bitty Hats (which I also bought) and Stefanie Japel (aka Glampyre) of Fitted Knits. The mix of pattern authors with a novelist resulted in an interesting discussion and I started thinking The Knitting Circle might be an interesting read.
The Knitting Circle is about Mary, whose 5 year old daughter dies unexpectedly. After her mother suggests that she go to a knitting class (mainly to distract her from her grief, I think), she ends up joining a knitting circle. The book tells the story of each of the members of the circle, why they took up knitting, and the role that knitting played in their lives.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. It's very well written and I honestly couldn't set it down. The fact that I've finished the book (when I just started reading it on Saturday night) is both because I had lots of time to read since I wasn't feeling well but more importantly because I felt compelled to keep reading to find out what happened to each of these people. I wouldn't really classify this book as "knitting fiction", it's just plain old good fiction. I don't think you need to be a knitter to find this book very satisfying. It does have quite a few sad moments, but there's certainly a sense of hope and also many happy things that happen as well.