Hood lives with her husband, businessman Lorne Adrain, her teenage son Sam and her daughter Annabelle in Providence, Rhode Island.
On April 18, 2002, Hood's five-year-old daughter, Grace, died from a virulent form of strep. For two years Hood found herself unable to write or even read. She took solace in learning to knit and in knitting groups. She gradually made her way back to her craft, writing short essays about Grace and grief. To make sense of her own grief, in late 2004 Hood began to write her novel The Knitting Circle, about a woman whose five-year-old daughter dies from meningitis. The woman joins a knitting group of others also struggling to heal from loss. Hood’s best-selling memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief chronicles her own struggle after her daughter’s sudden death.
The summer after Grace died, Hood and Adrain thought about having a baby. When Hood had trouble conceiving, they decided to adopt. In March 2005, they traveled to China, where they adopted Annabelle. Hood’s experience adopting in China became the inspiration for her 2010 novel The Red Thread, which follows a woman struggling with the accidental death of her young daughter. The woman, Maya Lange, begins an adoption agency for Chinese babies.