Anne Bartlett (2005)
Length: 282 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 26 July 2016
Finished: 28 July 2016
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 September 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Anne Bartlett is a new author for me.
While Sandra - a rigidly focused academic - struggles to navigate her way through life without her husband Jack, whom she recently lost to cancer, she is absolutely certain that nothing will ever be the same again. She had once thought that the well-ordered life that she had lived with her husband would just continue along in the same way it had since his passing. However, the intervening months have tested that belief. In the ten months since his death, Sandra has felt like she is wrapped in a layer of ice-cold glass - numbed by her grief, Sandra is certain that she will never feel warm again.
A chance meeting with a woman who could possibly be Sandra's polar opposite leads to a very unlikely friendship between them. Sandra meets Martha McKenzie after both women become Good Samaritans to someone suffering from a medical crisis in the street. Martha is an extraordinarily gifted knitter with her own secret store of grief. She spends her days knitting an astonishing variety of projects - each one of which is an elaborate creation - imbued with an incredible wealth of personal meaning.
While Sandra's own grief has constrained her spirit, Martha appears to wear hers very lightly. However, neither woman realizes just how much their differences will ultimately spark their own unique friendship. It is actually a shared fascination with knitting that ultimately draws these two very different women together.
Sandra is actually fascinated by all forms of needle and textile-craft, although her true talent for the domestic arts lies in her study of them. As a matter of fact, Sandra whole-heartedly believes that it is her avid interest in all types of domestic handiwork which has kept her fully grounded in reality for the past ten months. So, as the two women subsequently open up their lives to each other, their collaboration on an exhibition of 'Retro and Contemporary Knitting and Women's Handiwork' sets in motion a series of events that will help to heal them both in miraculous ways.
I was initially intrigued by the story because I have always enjoyed knitting and was curious to see how the story would evolve. To be perfectly honest, I found the story to be slightly anticlimactic although still very enjoyable. I liked so many of the characters, and found the plot well-developed yet easily paced. In my opinion, this was a delightful debut novel and I would definitely give it an A!
A! - (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight