Needles and Pearls (McNeil)

  • Title: Needles and Pearls
  • Author: Gil McNeil
  • Date: August 2011
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Library: Jacksonville Public Library

In this sequel to The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club, Jo is faced with a shocking surprise after her short affair with Daniel the photographer – she’s pregnant. The ongoing theme in her life of “going it alone” is back again. With her husband obviously still dead and Daniel not in the least bit interested in a long term relationship with her, she is a pregnant single mother in her forties. Poor Martin the carpenter with the busy-body mother is still very interested in her and their relationship is beginning to heat up as she finds out she’s pregnant and that puts it to an immediate hold. She introduces the store to the younger set and allows a teenage girl who helps out in the shop to start a teen knitting group – complete with boys! We get a little foreshadowing when poor Mr. Pallfrey takes a fall and the ambulance comes to collect him. Jo is there to help him with Trevor the dog and the paramedics mention that it’d be exciting to have to help with her birth, that they don’t have to do that very often around here. So of course the morning before she is scheduled for a c-section she goes into labor at home with Martin and the baby is delivered by some of the same paramedics on the floor of her kitchen. The story is topped off with Martin appearing at her bedside holding the baby later on after she’s gotten a little rest and he tells her that he’d like them to have an understanding (which is basically I guess asking if they could “go steady”) and of course she says yes. A nice little story; I always really enjoy reading British novels about mothers and their children, because they are so different than the way I am and I wish I could be more like them. The cultural differences stand out in regard to motherhood.

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