What to Read in 2021


Continuing my quest to explore all things Women’s Fiction, I tested out Contemporary Women’s Fiction this month. Side note: This book is also listed under Knitting Books. You can pick up some basic knitting skills if you are so inclined. 

May’s Pick: 

May’s read, The Knitting Circle is by Ann Hood. A fellow writer recommended this book and I enjoyed it. Word of warning: the entire book is about how the main character deals with the death of her young daughter. It is well-written and poignant, but I shed some tears. 

As a reminder, my reading plan for 2021 is to sample a book from Women’s Fiction sub-genres and see if they match the overall expectations for Women’s Fiction. You can read more about the plan here. 

Back to May’s book, The Knitting Circle. 

Book description from Amazon:

After the loss of her only child, Mary Baxter finds herself unable to read or write, the activities that used to be her primary source of comfort. She reluctantly joins a knitting circle as a way to fill her lonely days―not knowing it will change her life. As they teach Mary new knitting techniques, the women in the circle also reveal their own secrets of loss, love, and hope. With time, Mary is finally able to tell her own story of grief, and in so doing finds the spark of life again.

My take:

I steer away from books where children die. I suspect it is due to the fact that I have three kids of my own and that type of reality isn’t something I want to consider. But I took on a chance on this one because it was highly recommended and tells the story of nine different characters. The theme of the story is loss. Every one of the characters loses something or someone. 

I hope I haven’t scared you off by now because as sad as the concept of the book is, it is also a book about reinvention. Each one of these people had to make a decision on how to move their lives forward. It was different for each of them, except for one thing. Knitting. 

I can’t knit to save my life. Crocheting is more my thing, but it does make sense why knitting is the activity that each of these individuals clings to. Whatever the loss of the character, each one channels their energy into the creation of something new. It is a reflection of life, in my opinion. You can’t have something new without releasing something old. 

I mentioned last month that it is the characters that make or break the story for me and I think it stands true again with The Knitting Circle. The author crafted so many unique characters in this story, it was hard to pick the one that stood out the most. Because of the plethora of realistic and relatable characters, the story flowed well from chapter to chapter and this was an easy read for me. 

The Knitting Circle is a sad story, but I think it is worth the read to see how grief can be handled in different ways. We will all experience loss at some point in our life and this book may give you some ideas on how to approach it. 

Until next time…

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash