Nancy's Reviews > Needles and Pearls

Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil
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's review
Nov 10, 2010

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Read in November, 2010

"Needles and Pearls" continues the saga of Jo Mackenzie, widowed mother of two and proprietress of the finest seaside knit shop in England. All the characters from her previous novel "The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club" are again on the screen, with some changes; Ellen is now married, Martin is becoming less weird every day, Trevor the Wonder Dog is camping out in Jo's kitchen. But the big news is that Jo is...uh-oh. Seems a fling has left her with a bun in the oven.

Once again, McNeil has given us a novel without great insights to impart, but with her signature sweet/sharp dialogue. "Needles and Pearls" doesn't waste time with lyrical descriptions; it's all about the characters and the characters are talking all the time. Jo's boys Jack and Archie are such true to life little guys - they have that salty sweetness (with a bit of grittiness) that makes little boys so endearing. I liked that in this novel, Certain People (not saying who!) finally get told where to get off (or, as Jo puts it, "I finally got to tell ??? to 'piss off' without using the words 'piss off!'") If you're anything like me, you'll find that McNeil's characters become quite real to you - they display that nutty, complicated, gloriously mixed-up quality that real friends have - they drive you crazy, but when you need them, they are there ranging themselves staunchly at your back.

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