Crocheted Gestures
by Nancy Aldersmith

CreateSpace, 2009. ISBN 978-1-448-61836-1.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 09/24/2009

Fiction: Mainstream; Anthologies/Collections

What a lovely book of memorable characters. Aldersmith weaves them into each story in such a way that you can't wait to see what the finished creation will be. I enjoyed them all, but I did have some favorites.

Grandma, who is beyond an octogenarian, loves crocheting skull caps for preemies. Each covering is unique, woven with kindhearted intention and tender skill. She tells us how "some babies are so small that they fit in the palm of your hand." And the wonder to Grandma is that even though her hands shake when she writes letters and cooks, they never shake when she is crocheting.

Olivia, who just wanted to dance, is delightful. She had never danced a step in her life because her church had a rule against dancing. As she approached her eightieth birthday, she decides to put taps on her loafers. She practiced day and night because she tells her husband, "there is still life in me." On the big day, she puts on a tap dancing show. Even her sons, the two ministers, remark, "she's pretty good."

There are the special needs children who come to The Studio to work with clay and are helped to create art with love.

And then there's the seven-year-old big black dog that is out of time and due to be put down. But eight different good Samaritans transport him 730 miles to a family waiting with expectant faces. The little girl wraps her arms around his neck and tells him, "You're home now boy; it's all right." The dog's face looks like someone who has taken off tight shoes after a long day of being on his feet.

There are also mothers, aunts, uncles, mentors, nurses, patients, bowlers, fishermen, college kids, war survivors, a know-it-all bus driver, and a frustrated vulture chasing a determined doe. Each and every one of them made me care—about them and those that they interacted with.

Another nice thing about Aldersmith's book is that you can read an entire story in just a few minutes and then take time to digest what the author is trying to tell you. This is a good gift for you or a friend that might need something uplifting to read.

Nancy Aldersmith is a teacher, writer, and artist. Her writing has appeared in several publications. She is a regular contributor for The Writer's Eye Magazine. She lives in Vicksburg, Michigan with her husband, Randy, and Border collie, Storm. Visit her website.

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