Sutton Foster's “Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life” a refreshing change from the usual narrative



Sutton Foster doesn’t read reviews, and I don’t write them. But the new memoir from the Tony-winning actress is so inspiring that I’ll make an exception.


“Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life” is a memoir about the role of creating in Foster’s life. Not only her iconic roles in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Anything Goes” and (coming soon) “The Music Man' ' opposite Hugh Jackman, but through her personal art projects crafted during her decades-long career.


She made a memorable mark on both life theater and television (in “Younger” and the woefully underrated “Bunheads”). One need not look further than the back of “Hooked,” where a lineup-up of multi-talented actors, writers and CEOs are blurbed recommending this story. (Jennifer Garner! Amy Sherman-Palladino! Lauren Graham! Sold.)


Just like in her work, the crafting medium doesn’t matter as much as the art that comes out of it. From cross-stitch to collage to crochet, making things has been a constant in her life - a sort of therapy when things were hard, and a celebration of the good.



The crafting narrative is seamlessly woven into the story of her life, which is told in a clear and compelling voice. From parental and marital struggles to career highs and infertility lows, “Hooked” is a good read that makes a complicated pattern of life into a work of art.


Like a patchwork quilt, each chapter provides its own lesson, its own period of growth represented by works of art. From the trials of having a sick parent to balancing onstage confidence with real-life anxiety, each craft in “Hooked” has meaning.


Taken together, they make for a cozy warm blanket - like in any life, with its imperfections and struggles. And that’s a hopeful thing.


Foster gets to the heart of what so many memoirs are missing: purpose and perspective, much like each project she tackles. Though known for her voice and performances, these words on paper will make a quieter, deeper impact on readers.


For those of us who pick up pens or knitting needles in all seasons of life, “Hooked” is a refreshing change from the usual narrative, and a welcome reminder. That there is meaning in the things we make. Where others see a painting or a blanket or a notebook stuffed with ink-splattered pages, we see a moment in time. It’s personal - and so is this lovely debut book.