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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Casting Off...Review

About the book:
Casting Off:

1. Ending a knitted work.
2. Releasing lines holding a boat to its mooring.
3. Letting go...

On a tiny island off the west coast of Ireland, the fishermen’s handmade sweaters tell a story. Each is unique—feelings stitched into rows, memories into patterns.

It is here that Rebecca Moray comes to research a book on Irish knitting. With her daughter, Rowan, accompanying her, she hopes to lose herself in the history of the island and forget her own painful past. Soon, the townsfolk’s warm embrace wraps Rebecca and Rowan in a world of friendship, laughter, and love.

And it is here that young Rowan befriends Sean Morahan, a cantankerous old fisherman, despite his attempts to scare her off. As Rebecca watches her daughter interact with Morahan, she recognizes in his eyes a look that speaks of a dark knowledge not unlike her own. And when current storms threaten to resurrect old ones, Morahan and Rebecca find themselves on a collision course—with Rowan caught between them—each buffeted by waves of regret and recrimination. Only by walking headfirst into the winds will they find the faith to forgive without forgetting…and reach the shore.

A thoroughly charming novel. I was a bit hesitant to read another book about knitting, because I haven't truly enjoyed those I've read in the past. However, this one is charming. Set in modern-day Ireland, on a small island off the coast, Rebecca's story unfolds like a ball of yarn: sometimes gently rolling and other times bouncing out of her control. Predictably, she comes to terms with her past and accepts her new future.

The people of the island become Rebecca's new family as they embrace her and Rowan. It is through their gentle love and acceptance that Rebecca is finally able to face the demons of her past and move forward. Sean's part of the story is more melodramatic, his regrets and the ghosts of his past, real.
But with Rowan's arrival on the island, old Sean finally faces his that past and is able to atone for his wrongdoings.

With themes of domestic abuse, regret and forgiveness, this is a sweet, gentle story. The characters, and the island itself, work their way into your heart. The fascinating history of Irish knitting and the fishermen sweaters is explored, with details about the patterns and their meanings to the families and fishermen of Ireland.

Thanks to Kaitlyn Kennedy from
Berkley/NAL, Penguin Group USA for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Nicole R. Dickson here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. The setting alone sounds delightful!

  2. Knitting and Ireland -it can't get any better than that for me. I could read books with knitting themes quite often and not get bored.

  3. I love reading books set in Ireland. It is an enchanting setting. Great review. I'll have to add this to my wishlist.