Entertaining and informative ... How does she knit this all together? Very skillfully ... Although the soft, woolly sheep on the cover of this book might suggest that Unraveling is a lighthearted yarn about yarn, it really isn’t — though it does contain plenty of laugh-out-loud humor, mostly directed at the author herself. That the book is filled with hard realities and sharp observations shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Orenstein is an accomplished author known for diving into the weighty and uncomfortable territory of teen sexuality ... Orenstein tenaciously approaches her subject from every angle, literally wrestling it to the ground ... While Orenstein’s garment is the work of an amateur, this book is anything but.
A larger-than-expected journey ... A funny, well-researched, personal story about the value of fabric, women’s work and local connections ... Starting down this sweater-making thread, Orenstein unravels a whole ball of yarns. She considers the enduring and cross-cultural myths of women weavers, variously goddesses or witches ... Fabric facts can be fascinating ... Orenstein counters some of the heaviness of wildfire, climate destruction and the global health crisis with her humor ... By book’s end, the reader is ready to identify deep, intrinsic beauty in anything that difficult to create. You just may need to read the book to see that.
This witty, irreverent memoir is, at heart, extremely serious ... Tucked among these tasks, which she tackles with verve and writes about with breezy humor, are lessons about the origins of clothing, the importance of women's work and the enormous toll the garment industry takes on the environment ... Orenstein never preaches — she ponders, mulling problems, admitting when there is no clear solution and always lightening the mood with her flippant, funny observations ... Orenstein's upbeat voice and strong reporting make it an absolute delight to read.