The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The conceit here is that knitting - mere knitting - can somehow settle your mind, keeping you from focusing on the tragedy in your life. Tragedy? We're talking about cancer, rape, the premature death of a child, a sick child and the death of a partner, among other things.
In Lucy's case, it's the death of her daughter Stella due to bacterial meningitis: one moment there, the next dead. Her grief seems unending, and one day her mother forces her hand by not just recommending a knitting circle but getting the leader of the circle to call. As Lucy's emotional recovery slowly progresses, she becomes more and more enamored with knitting; as her knitting skill increases, she moves from member of the circle to member of the circle getting tips and tricks and hearing their story of loss and healing. And over the three year course of the book, she learns to make scarfs, socks and sweaters, and contributes "a stitch a month" squares to a blanket (for knitters, some instructions are included).
Is she healed? Of course. This wouldn't be a chick lit book if she wasn't. And because of the genre, it's also a little too pat and obvious in the emotional triggers.