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The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club

3.7 134
by Gil McNeil

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For every woman who has ever dreamed of starting over, or being a better mother, or just knitting a really nice scarf . . .

When her husband dies in a car crash--not long after announcing he wants a divorce--Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran's knitting


For every woman who has ever dreamed of starting over, or being a better mother, or just knitting a really nice scarf . . .

When her husband dies in a car crash--not long after announcing he wants a divorce--Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran's knitting shop--a quaint but out-of-date store in desperate need of a facelift. After a rough beginning, Jo soon finds comfort in a "Stitch and Bitch" group; a collection of quirky, lively women who share their stories, and their addiction to cake, with warmth and humor.

As Jo starts to get the hang of single-parent life in a small town, she relies on her knitting group for support. The women meet every week at the shop on Beach Street and trade gossip and advice as freely as they do a new stitch. But when a new man enters Jo's life, and an A-list actress moves into the local mansion, the knitting club has even more trouble confining the conversation to knit one, purl two.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is an uplifting, winning tale about the healing power of friendship and new beginnings. It's a charming novel that will delight all passionate knitters--and win over befuddled, would-be knitters, too.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Smart novels about starting over don't get any better than this sweet treat by Brit author McNeil (Divas Don't Knit). Jo Mackenzie, full-time mum to little rascals Jack and Archie, is blindsided when her foreign correspondent husband, Nick, admits to an affair and asks for a divorce, only to be killed soon after in a car crash. Now Jo must keep up an awkward grieving widow facade. When her grandmother offers Jo the family knit shop, Jo sells her London flat and moves to the small seaside town of Broadgate Bay. When she decides to start a "stitch and bitch" group above her shop, the ancient shop assistant resists her innovations, but happily, the woman's son, Martin, is back in town and newly divorced. Then a chance encounter with a movie star, the town's newest resident, adds to Jo's misadventures. Readers will be kept in stitches by the mishaps and antics of Jo, an endearing Bridget Jones with baggage. McNeil's top-notch writing and quick wit keep the plot spinning until the wholly satisfying, and not entirely expected, conclusion. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cosmopolitan -UK
Warm and wonderful.
Good Housekeeping - UK
It is now official: knitting is the acme of cool.
Knitting Magazine
A believable, warm and funny novel with a touch of romance-I'm already looking forward to the sequel.
Library Journal

After her husband death's in a car crash, Jo Mackenzie packs up her two sons and moves from London back to her hometown to run a knitting shop. Her ideas to revitalize the shop bring in a variety of new customers and with them an assortment of problems, complications, and eventual friendships. Unfortunately, Jo's two young boys, Archie and Jack, have to be the most obnoxiously ghastly children on the planet; many readers will have to resist the urge to stab the little darlings with knitting needles. Readers will also have to deal with a bit of English slang, but for many this will only make the story more charming. There's really nothing new here, but it's still a pleasant read that will fit into the women's fiction niche quite nicely. In light of the current popularity of needle arts, especially knitting, McNeil's debut will quickly find an audience. Recommended for any public library.
—Margaret Hanes

Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Ruth Rendell
"Funny and sparkling-a profoundly moving study of motherhood and true love."

Meet the Author

This is Gil McNeil's first US publication. She lives in Kent, England, with her son, and is currently working on the sequel to The Beach Street Knitting SOciety and Yarn Club--as well as a scarf and a rather tricky jumper. (Author's name is pronounced "Jill.")

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The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I read about knitting. The first one was a disaster. But this one, I just wanted do dive in and live there. This book made me laugh so hard. One the days I need to get away. This was the most perfect way to do it.
Melissa_W More than 1 year ago
I tend to be a bit guarded when referred titles that come from the new sub-genre of chick lit/knitting fiction; a number have the feeling that the plot has been recycled just so someone could add a main character who knits/learns to knit and then knitting/yarn/yarn shop/SnB saves the day. Hurrah. "The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club" (aka TBSKSAYC) gives the genre a whole new look. First off, Jo is written as a very confident woman and knitter who is able to turn a tragedy into a workable real-life solution; she comes across as someone you might want to know in real life, so kudos to Gil McNeil. The supporting characters are also wonderfully rendered, particularly Jo's two boys, who reminded me very much of my brothers when they were kindergarten-age, and Jo's wacky BBC-broadcaster/best friend Ellen. Secondly, I am very grateful to the publishers for not "translating" the Britishisms into Americanisms for the US publication; much of what gives the book it's "real" feeling is the language and the entire story would have deflated if the sense of place was lost. Even though the plot of TBSKSAYC does revolve somewhat around Jo's life as the new owner of a yarn shop, no previous knitting experience is required to enjoy the book; what makes the story sparkle are Jo's descriptions of her life, either dealing with the moving company, trying to get two rambunctious boys to eat all their veg, or dealing with the paparazzi when a glamorous movie star patronizes the shop (sometimes all three at once). TBSKSAYC is a perfect read for summer vacation, whether lying about on a beach somewhere or just wishing that you were. Jo's story is endearing and you'll find yourself rooting for her when she goes toe-to-toe with PTA mom Annabel Morgan or Jo's snooty in-laws.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid knitter, I tend to buy any novels that take place around knitting and unfortunately, not all of them are good. However, this was a true pleasure to read. I saved it for that perfect day when I could sit all day with a cup of coffee and this book and it did not disappoint. I thoroughly loved this story and it's wonderfully colorful characters. I couldn't put it down and hated for it to end. I got teary eyed at some parts and laughed out loud at others. The main character could be any of us, struggling with life as a single mom and trying to keep it together. I look forward to any other books this very talented and gifted author writes.
Morghainne More than 1 year ago
I love to knit and am always on the lookout for books that tell a story that is central to knitting. This was on the New Arrivals table and looked interesting. I read it in just a couple of days. There wasn't much to the book other than a little romance and a very good story. I definitely would recommend it to anyone whether they are a knitter or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great read! You really can enjoy the people in the book and feel they are the type of people who probably exist somewhere in a small town by the sea. Can't wait to read the next book.
EmberA More than 1 year ago
A good book to curl up to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The end notes say that the author is working on a follow-up! Yikes I hope someone teaches her that a novel has to have conflict and resolution. Novel writing is not like high school, you can't just turn in your diary and call it a novel. The entire book has very little to do with a knitting society or any society really. The author spends so many words on winging about her mother, her kids, the dog next door. When she get off that business, she's gushing on about her celebrity friends and what a good mother she is. I need my head examined for writing this "book."
MCHEATH More than 1 year ago
This is a cozy read without the mystery. Settle down with a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy this story of new friends!
Carrie Ennis More than 1 year ago
This was a refreshing 'slice of life' story of a woman faced with life-changing events and choosing to make the best life possible for herself and her children. As an American I found the slang a little unfamiliar. I happen to love beach towns and knitting. This was a charming book and can't wait to order the rest of this authors books.
luv2readDB More than 1 year ago
Great story, interesting family interactions. Loved the way she handled the changes in her life. I would read anything she writes.
SusanC1 More than 1 year ago
A great read, well developed characters...not the standard and mindless chic lit. Just a sweet story of rebuilding with a regular life!
Nanakiki More than 1 year ago
Jo deals with a bucket full of real life, like raising kids, an unfaithful husband, and having to move and start over in a new place. And oh by the way she happens to knit. If you're looking for a story about knitting with patterns and suggestions, this is not it. But, if you just like good writing, interesting characters and a dose of actual life you will want to read this book that left me looking for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was actually disappointed in the book and didn't even finish it. I would compare it to acrylic yarn and I'm used to knitting with the real stuff - alpaca, silk, wool!!! If it were a movie, I'd say wait for the rental. For heavens sake don't spend full price on it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I usually like more activity/action in the books I read, this was a good-enough read that I will buy and read the sequal when it come out.
SerenahAK More than 1 year ago
This book is an entertaining read if you are interested in women's craft, such as knitting, which I am. Also has some mystery and romantic interest, including the other side of the coin - the husband's death right after he declares he wants a divorce.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just loved this sweet story! Not a sweeping drama or a laugh out loud comedy, but a charming story with very likeable characters. My only criticism is that I would love for it to be available as an ebook for the nook.
Sikh_Wife More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the main character's voice, though sometimes it seemed way too hyper. It also provided neat little insights into British life. Overall it was better than the second two Friday Night Knitting Club books.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read 1,2,and 3 of the beach series and loved them all.Hoping Gil McNeil contines with book 4. You just fall in with all the wonderful people in this small seaside town.
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