A young woman suffers a miscarriage, and her grandmother knits her a doll to replace the child she lost. It’s no ordinary gift, though, because the old woman has magic, and her doll is sentient — but it has no way to communicate.
This is such a beautiful story. For a start, Unsworth’s prose has the rhythm of classic storytelling — one imagines ‘The Knitted Child’ being great read aloud. The tale as a whole is a highly evocative portrait of grief, made perhaps all the more so because we see much of the story from the knitted child’s viewpoint; so, we experience not only the family’s heartbreak, but also the doll’s frustration and sadness at not being able to act — at not being able to be in reality the child that it wants to be in its mind.
‘The Knitted Child was the first of Simon Unsworth’s stories that I’d read; it will not be the last.