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COMFORT COMFORT: A Journey Through Grief

When I started to write my novel, THE KNITTING CIRCLE, it was a natural way for me to look at and explore grief. After all, I think of myself primarily as a fiction writer. And after such an enormous loss when Grace died, it was too painful, too raw, to write my own story. How could I sit in my little office alone every day for two or three or four hours and re-live what had happened? But I could ask the fiction writer's question: What If? What if my protagonist, Mary, lost her only child? What if she found the perfect knitting group, one that would help her through her grief by knitting with her, sharing their own stories, and offering her friendship? Once I asked those questions, my imagination took over and I could tell stories of loss and grief and hope.

Slowly, slowly, I began to tell my own story of loss and grief and hope. You know how that first day at the beach when the ocean water is still so cold, you dip your toes in, then run out? Next try, you get up to your ankles before you run? Then up to your calves, your thighs, until finally you are waist deep and you can dive in head first? That is how I wrote COMFORT. I wrote a little, then retreated. A little more, a little more, until I was able to dive in.

I am so proud of this book. In some ways, it is the hardest thing I've ever written. It is certainly the most necessary. It is raw and honest and filled with emotion and love. I hope when you read it, you too find some comfort in its pages.

View article from People Magazine June 2, 2008