A moving and remarkable memoir about the sudden death of a daughter, surviving grief, and learning to love again.
In 2002, Ann Hood's five-year-old daughter Grace died suddenly from a virulent form of strep throat. Stunned and devastated, the family searched for comfort in a time when none seemed possible. Hood--an accomplished novelist--was unable to read or write. She could only reflect on her lost daughter--"the way she looked splashing in the bathtub ... the way we sang 'Eight Days a Week.'" One day, a friend suggested she learn to knit. Knitting soothed her and gave her something to do. Eventually, she began to read and write again. A semblance of normalcy returned, but grief, in ever new and different forms, still held the family. What they could not know was that comfort would come, and in surprising ways. Hood traces her descent into grief and reveals how she found comfort and hope again--a journey to recovery that culminates with a newly adopted daughter.
The first six pages of this wrenchingly honest memoir of Hood's daughter's death and its aftermath read like a tightly controlled scream. All the platitudes, the dozens of words of comfort that people offer-"time heals," "she is in a better place"-are interspersed with Hood's silent, furious responses to these "lies," with special scorn for those who say, "Are you writing this down?" The death of her five-year-old Grace in 2002 was completely unexpected: an ordinary strep throat somehow ravaged the organs of her small body. Hood (The Knitting Circle) takes readers through the slow, jagged steps of dealing with grief. Unable to write, she first took refuge in endless knitting, then got a tattoo on Grace's sixth birthday. Hiding from the Beatles' songs her daughter had loved, she found them so ubiquitous that she could finally listen only to talk radio. Grace's little shoes stood sentinel at the top of the stairs and three years passed before Hood could bear to clean her room. But there is redemption at the end of this short, anguished book. Hood and her husband have a new daughter, Annabelle, adopted from China, and at last, Hood can celebrate Mother's Day, albeit with a "strange mixture of grief and joy." (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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W. W. Norton & Company
May 10, 2008
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