I realise today is the third of January, but I’m having computer issues (I’d hoped they’d be resolved today, but no such luck) and I did finish the book yesterday. It was:
It’s not a bad book, and really gets inside the main two or three protagonists. Martha and Cliff are sympathetic characters right from the beginning, but although we start off feeling quite sorry for Sandra in the misery of early widowhood, I got very annoyed with her by two-thirds of the way through in her selfishness and the way she was treating Martha more as a machine than as a person, friend, artist or craftswoman. The only thing redeeming her at that point was that Kate and Tony (who come across as sensible and caring people) seemed to consider her a close friend, suggesting some of the behaviour was an aberration.
Sandra is, of course, largely redeemed by the end of the book, and both she and Martha have realised they need to take care of both themselves and other people, and not just the former or latter (respectively). My favourite part is probably the incident of the knitting machine and what it shows of Cliff, Martha and Sandra both as people and in their understanding of knitting as art.