Anne Bartlett
Penguin Books

To read Knitting is to be caught up in a weaving of words as cloud-soft as angora, as shimmering as silk, as tingling as mohair.

After her husband’s death, Sandra finds herself in a skin-tight prison of glass, unable to grieve. Reminded of her own desperation during her husband’s last illness by the fleeting look of a woman kneeling over an unconscious body on the street, she is drawn into the lives of Martha and Cliff.

Martha is rosedown warmth to Sandra’s brittleglass cold. A gifted knitter, she inspires Sandra to invite her to collaborate in a textile exhibition. But Martha’s generosity and her fragile hold on sanity, coupled with the escalating scale of Sandra’s ambition, begin the unravelling of their blossoming friendship.

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Fire of Roses

From the exquisite ending of TS Eliot’s poem, Little Gidding, to the purifying petalled flames in George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin or the purging fire in Anne Bartlett’s Knitting, I am utterly entranced with the symbol of the fire of roses.

From time to time, you’ll find the image haunting my own writing…

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