Saturday, April 24, 2010

Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil

4 Star

This sequel starts right where Divas Don't Knit left off.  Jo has picked herself up and moved on, been successful at getting her Gran's knitting shop revamped and has become fully ensconced in the seaside village life she's moved her family to. Two upcoming weddings leave her with even more to do as well as a potential love love interest and a surprise even she wasn't expecting.

Lydia - 3 Star

I loved Divas Don’t Knit, finding Gil McNeil a fresh voice in chick lit and loved the premise and the story.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Needles and Pearls and I wasn’t as pleased with this sequel as I had hoped to be.

Divas Don’t Knit began with Jo, newly widowed, starting over in a new town with her two boys, making friends and taking over her Grandmothers’s knitting shop.  Quite a lot to overcome! In this sequel though, things stayed pretty much the same including her friendships and fights with the PTA mom and her own mother. There was one small difference in that she was pregnant in this novel, but it didn`t become an issue and there wasn`t much else that was different. The novel even started right where we left off with Divas Don`t Knit with no time lapse and maybe that`s what was needed to change things up.  I didn’t find much plot in this story and I already knew the characters, so was unable to find much to keep me entertained. 

The tone of the story is the same and the kids gave me some laughs, but Jo`s continuing story just didn’t satisfy me. I wanted a little more to happen, but it didn't and even though Needles and Pearls wasn't terrible, it wasn't fantastic either, which leaves it as a 3 Star for me.

Kathryn - 5 Star

I enjoyed Needles and Pearls just as much as the prequel “Divas don’t knit”. If you’ve read the first then I would imagine you’ll probably feel the same way but if you’re looking for something newly enticing then you might be a bit disappointed.

Jo is continuing her new life in Broadgate with her two fabulous sons Archie & Jack.  She is still always pressed for time but feels that her knitting shop is beginning to take off- then she discovers she’s pregnant.  She must now attempt to juggle the shop, the boys and a new pregnancy.

I don’t think there is anything earth shattering about this sequel, nothing too dramatic happens and there isn’t a huge sense of climax at any point.  To me it feels as if the two novels were written as one and then chopped in half to make two books.  It didn’t matter to me though- I still enjoyed the Jo’s voice and the voice of her kids- they are hilarious and one of my favourite things about Gil McNeil’s writing!  It’s the same book to me… so my rating reflects how thrilled I was reading the first one.

Needles and Pearls is definitely worth a read if you were wondering how Jo was getting on!  I’d probably read another to see how the baby was doing!

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