Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 09:42 am
(For the curious, force of habit has me naming this author Mori Kyoko instead of the more western Kyoko Mori. It seems more natural to me to do this with Japanese names.)

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Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) A memoir of crossing cultures, losing love, and finding home by a New York Times notable author. As steadily and quietly as her marriage falls apart, so Kyoko Mori's understanding of knitting deepens. From flawed school mittens to beautiful unmatched patterns of cardigans, hats and shawls, Kyoko draws the connection between knitting and the new life she tried to establish in the U.S. Interspersed with the story of knitting throughout, the narrative contemplates the nature of love, loss, and what holds a marriage together.

Thoughts: Having read two of the author's YA novels, I was excited to find that one of her memoirs involved yarn, which is a passion of mine. (Big fibre artist when I'm not reading and writing, you see.) I was interested to see just what lay inside.

What I found was a frank and honest telling of many parts of her life, ranging from events in her childhood to her marriage to open self-reflection. Arranged in sections relating to specific knitted garments and how they relate to her life as a whole, it was easy to see the common threads that held everything together, that pushed and pulled and held all the events and emotions that she experienced. Following the author's journey like this, I not only got to feel closer to her and understand her better, but I got the chance to understand myself a little better too, as though I was less a passive observer and more an active participant.

Which, I think, must have been intentional. Aside from the fact that she can tell a good story and create believable characters, it didn't escape my notice that the theme of "common threads" can be applied between author and reader, between participant and observer, and that there's a connection to be felt.

More than that, there's the lesson that no matter how many threads run between people, places, or things, nothing is eternal. Nothing is so flawed that it cannot, with a little effort, be snipped and repaired until the problem has been fixed. And not everything needs to be perfect, either.

I admire her more now that I've read this book, and I took away from it more understanding and inspiration than I expected to. This was far more than a story about yarn, more than a story about a woman, and, much as in knitting, weaving, or spinning, the finished whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.

(Received from the publisher via NetGalley)


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