Book Review: “Yarn — Remembering the Way Home” by Kyoko Mori
Normally, my book reviews are reserved for Book Addicts; however, since this book is not the type of book I normally review over there, I thought I’d review it here, since I believe it will resonate with knitters of all types.
Title: Yarn — Remembering the Way Home
Author: Kyoko Mori
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Details: eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Gemma Media
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 Moris 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. Through the last, empty days of her marriage, Kyoko finds a way to begin again. Interspersed with the story of knitting throughout, the narrative contemplates the nature of love, loss and what holds a marriage together.
Kyoki Mori delivers a moving account of her life by threading together various knitting projects with different episodes in her life. As Mori’s story unravels, you share pain when she loses her mother, the frustration she feels with her family, the slow demise of her marraige and the joy she finds when she takes charge of her life.
I don’t read many memoirs, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mori’s story.
Though at times the story is slow-paced, threads of Mori’s youth weave seamlessly with lessons she learns as adult. Each section in the book corresponds with a different project, and they range in their difficulty: scarves, cardigans, fair isle, etc. At one point she compares her marriage to instarsia — her and husband come together when it suits them, knitting together the image the pattern calls for, but when the image is done, they separate until the next pattern.
The book jumps back and forth a lot from Mori’s youth to her present day, but Mori is so frank and honest about her life that the way she tells her story works beautifully. Though Mori is a drastically different type of woman than I am, she is comfortable in her own skin and in the end I admire her strength and courage.
“Yarn — Remembering the Way Home” is more than just the memoir of a knitter. It’s a story woven together in pieces, and much like in a knitted garment, the end result is worth it.