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Casting Off

4.3 (1902)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Casting Off.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Nicole R. Dickson(Author)

    Book details

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.

"Plenty of novels in which knitting plays a starring role would make great chick flicks. Casting Off would make a great movie. Consider the elements: Exotic location. Feisty heroine with a past. Equally feisty kid. Hunky male lead... A crusty old man of the sea. A riveting climax. Awe-inspiring sweaters. While Dickson at times steers close to sentimental shoals, she tells a ripping good yarn, bringing to vivid life the people, seascape, and sounds of Ireland's western islands. The only thing missing: patterns for the...sweaters she so beautifully describes." - Vogue Knitting Spring Summer 2010 Nicole Dickson lives in North Carolina with her daughter. Casting Off was discovered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest.

2.4 (8498)
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Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 400 pages
  • Nicole R. Dickson(Author)
  • NAL; Original edition (July 28, 2009)
  • English
  • 9
  • Literature & Fiction

Read online or download a free book: Casting Off


Review Text

  • By Kathleen Valentine on July 4, 2010

    There have been a lot of novels written lately with a knitting theme, testimony to the popularity of knitting in current society - a good thing in my opinion. The reviews on them have been mixed, some are good, others are basically little more than Harlequin-type romances with a few knitting scenes thrown in. I was a little skeptical about Nicole R. Dickson's Casting Off but it proved to be quite charming.It is essentially a romance, too, and there are no surprises to be had but there are some very good characters, the setting on an island off the coast of Ireland is delightfully described, and the story at least involves some actual knitting (and spinning). To be honest the only character I had a hard time warming up to was Rebecca, the main character. Rebecca, a young single mother of a precocious six year old, is working on a PhD in archeology and comes to Ireland to study traditional "ganseys", Irish knit sweaters. She is haunted by a past relationship with the despicable Dennis, the father of her daughter Rowan. Once on the island she is overwhelmed by the friendliness of its citizens all of who know her well from the stories told by Sharon, a young woman from the village who was Rebecca's roommate in college. Thus begins her education of spinning, knitting, gansey lore and, of course, a predictable but still sweet romance with the entirely too perfect Fionn.Each chapter begins with a description of a gansey pattern taken from a fictional book we later learn was written by Rebecca's daughter Rowan. As someone who has been knitting Aran and Guernsey patterns for over 40 years I never heard of some of them but I enjoyed the "alternate" descriptions immensely. There were a few things about the writing that annoyed me, particularly the repetitive descriptions, but I loved most of the characters, especially the old fisherman Sean who was a miserable old s.o.b. in his youth and paid dearly for it. Since tradition tells us that originally it was men who did the knitting I was glad the story acknowledged that.My problem with Rebecca, like with too many "heroines" in novels today, is that for someone working on a PhD in archeology thus, we can reasonably assume, fairly intelligent, she can certainly be a bullheaded nitwit. Right from the beginning she is very attracted to Fionn (who wouldn't be? he's perfect) but she keeps finding little things to pitch ridiculous hissy-fits about and stomp off in high dudgeon. Then, of course, Fionn does something irresistibly cute and she gets over it. I guess this is how contemporary writers build romantic tension but there were a couple of times when I thought Fionn should have given her a good kick in the pants.Some of her issues are explained when we find out what happened "that fateful night" (the build up to that got a tad tiresome, too) but other issues are never explained like her attitude toward the local Catholic priest, the sweet, charming Father Michael, and also to the Church. I couldn't help but wonder if this was an issue of the author's own that spilled over into the story - particularly when Father Michael told Rebecca why Fionn had come to him for Confession. Those of us who are Catholics know Father Michael should be excommunicated for doing that - not a thing taken lightly among Catholics.So, I liked the story, I loved the people and the setting, and it was a thoroughly pleasant read. I wish Rebecca had been less of a twit (she didn't deserve Fionn, he's perfect) and I wish the author had paid a little more attention to detail but, all in all, it was a pleasant story. I'll look forward to Ms. Dickson's next work.

  • By Patricia S. Jones on September 30, 2010

    I haven't knitted in years but decided to pick up the needles again and went to Amazon for an easy knitting book. Somehow this book popped up as something I might be interested in! I'm of Irish descent and my mother made little Irish knit sweaters for her first grandbabies! She died two years ago and in cleaning out her house I found the worn out pattern book she used for the wonderful sweaters she made - what a treasure. So this book just screamed BUY ME! I am so very glad I did. I could not put the book down. My friends are waiting in line to read my copy. A lovely story with the rich history of the sweaters! It is so well written I just kept dreaming I was there (and I'm goin' one of these Ireland)! I hope there will be a sequel!

  • By C. Yates on December 19, 2014

    Casting Off is the last book in a volume of four series. I loved all these books and was sorry to see them end even though I could not put them down when reading...staying up to the wee hours of the morning to see what happened next. The war is over and the Cazalet family is expecting things to go on as before the war ...that does not happen as they have all changed and grown during the war and cannot go back to the way it was. Polly and Clary are sharing a flat in London wondering what happened to their youth. Clary is in love and becomes pregnant only to be devastated with the results...the patriarch has died..there is a divorce as was expected...Rupert returns home after four years and discovers there is tension with Zoe and delight with a new daughter, Juliet. Rachael continues to care take of any and all leaving herself empty of the love she could embrace..this is one of the best series I have read in years. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good read. I got my books from Amazon at a great price and you can also.

  • By anonymous1 on February 2, 2018

    I read this book for a book club and found it to be cloying and silly. The writing is wooden and heavy handed. Descriptions are repetitive; the author mentioned the periwinkle sky a couple of dozen times and even managed to squeeze it in three times in two paragraphs. Skip to the end and bang! there is the periwinkle sky again. Seriously, it seems as if the author envisioned a 7th grade audience, because she over explained everything as if the reader could not be counted upon to connect any dots at all. After she described a character’s actions, she inserted purported dialogue reiterating those actions, after which she set forth a clumsy metaphor which she then felt compelled to explain. The Irish characters are stereotypes (as one reviewer noted, to be counted upon to dispense homely wisdom), and there is no reason to learn their names because they are indistinguishable from each other. There is no character development for the protagonist. The emotions don’t ring true, and the melodramatic and entirely predictable ending will leave your eyes rolling like the Irish Sea. It’s interesting to note that half the Amazon reviews refer to a different book with the same title (part of the Canzalet series). Dickson’s bio does not refer to any accomplishments by the author (she lives in North Carolina and has a daughter; that’s it), and the sole editorial review was provided by Vogue magazine, whose own editors noted the book’s sentimentality. This book is a waste of time.

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