McNeil, Gil. The Beach Street Knitting and Yarn Club.
For the most part, I don't care for Chick Lit. I've picked up some that by the time I'm two pages in, I'm already wondering who in bloody hell reads this stuff. BUT I've read some that is really fun and enjoyable.
This one is definitely Chick Lit, and definitely fun. It took a chapter or so for things to kind of settle in and for McNeil to begin finding her voice, but once she did, I was having a great time and finding myself smiling at poor Jo's antics with her two young sons, Jack and Archie.
So...brief summation of the situation: Jo McKenzie's husband tells her that he wants a divorce, then promptly has a fatal car accident, leaving Jo to deal with naturally mixed feelings about his death. She is left stunned, grieving for their boys, and angry--especially as he had taken a second mortgage on their home without telling her.
Jo and her two boys must leave London and retreat to a small village where she will take over her grandmother's knitting shop. She has several interesting characters to deal with as well as trying to transform the shop into a paying proposition.
The narrative is a series of vignettes, little scenes with engaging, often understated dialogue; funny incidents dealing with the children; and episodes with interesting, amusing, and/or annoying minor characters.
A little more than half way through, I began to wonder about a climax. No pun intended, as romance is such a brief part of this novel. But, you know, a turning point? Two thirds through the novel and there's been no real rising action-- so there's no inkling of a turning point. (Kind of like real life...)
With only one and a half chapters left, I realized that I didn't care. I was enjoying the little episodes Jo had to deal with in making a life for herself and her two sons. The story is a warm and witty account of a woman who must make some big readjustments, and who finds herself not only dealing with her own problems, but becoming involved with the lives of others in the small village.
I had tried Knit Two by Kate Jacobs and abandoned it after about 10 pages, so I was pleased to discover that this was a light novel that appealed to my sense of humor. Knitting and the knit shop provide a convenient vehicle for a story about a woman making a new life for herself, maintaining old friendships and making new ones, and raising two small boys who have had some big changes in their lives
After the first chapter, I got a real kick out of McNeil's dialogue and the tricky situations life throws at us in the process of every day life. I would like to see another novel with these characters.
Other reviews: Pop Goes Fiction, YC Reads ...
:) I started this review a week ago and am just now finishing it.
Fiction. 2009. 404 pages.