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Gil McNeil Books In Order

Publication Order of Beach Street Knitting Society Books

Divas Don't Knit aka The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Needles and Pearls (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Knit One Pearl One (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Only Boy For Me (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stand by Your Man (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Wee Small Hours (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Good Year for the Roses (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

In the Small Wee Hours (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Mums (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dads (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grandparents (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Gil McNeil has had careers in publishing, advertising, and the film business. She is Director of a charity called PiggyBankKids, which supports those projects that make opportunities for kids. She is a resident of Kent, with her son, and is from a long line of great knitters.

Her first novel, called “The Only Boy for Me” was a bestseller in paperback (in the year 2002), which was originally released in the year 2001. The story was adapted into a movie that aired on ITV and it premiered in the year 2007 and starred Helen Baxendale.

She writes the “Beach Street Knitting Society” series and some stand alone novels. Besides writing, she has edited five story anthologies with Sarah Brown.

“Divas Don’t Knit” is the first novel in the “Beach Street Knitting Society” series and was released in the year 2007. Jo Mackenzie’s husband (named Nick, who works as a reporter) tells her that he is cheating on her and he wants a divorce, and then dies in a car crash soon after. She packs up both of her rowdy sons and moves to a shaky villa in her hometown near the sea from London.

It is here that she takes over Gran’s knitting shop, a place that is quaint but in need of updating, after being out of date. She has a rough beginning, trying to get settled in, and finds some comfort in “Stitch and Bitch” group. This is a group of lively and quirky women that share stories with each other, as well as their love of cake, and are full of humor and warmth.

Jo begins to get the hang of being a single mother in a small town, she falls back on her knitting buddies for her needed support. They meet once a week at the Beach Street shop. They gossip and share advice freely. Jo meets a man and a big time actress moves into the mansion in town. That is a lot for the group to talk about.

After reading this book, some felt themselves wanting to learn knitting. Fans of the novel found themselves pleasantly surprised by this novel; the yarn and knitting portions were interesting and important to the story, which is something that some fail to do in knitting novels. Readers feel that Jo is a great mom that does her best, and is someone that knows when to pick her battles. She is someone that you would want to get to know and be friends with. It would have to be hard to write for such a strong character.

“Needles and Pearls” is the second novel in the “Beach Street Knitting Society” series and was released in the year 2008. Just one year and two weddings after Jo’s husband died and she is finally understanding how to be a single mother. The boys are doing well, her yarn shop does well (due to her improvements); she is able to keep her head right above water at the moment.

A man comes back from Jo’s past, along with the romance that she is having with the gorgeous local carpenter make the plot thicken a little more. Is Jo going to be able to handle things when they get even more complex? They say that knitting keeps you sane when things start to unravel in life. That means that Jo will need a lot bigger needles here pretty soon.

Here is a charming book, that is not just another superficial romance novel that featured knitters. It is good entertainment that pulls readers back, either after they have just set the book down, or after the reader has some free time on their hands. Fans of the novel enjoyed the humorous dialogue (which at times makes some laugh out loud) and fun characters. You will cringe and giggle while reading this book, and feeling certain that you and Jo would make fast and good friends.

“Knit One Pearl One” is the third novel in the “Beach Street Knitting Society” series and was released in the year 2011. Jo’s life has been busy since her husband died. She has seen plenty of surprises, pleasures she did not expect, and quite a bit of adventure, not to mention, knitting.

The yarn shop (that has a cafe), located near the sea has kept her much busier than ever. Being a single mother to two sons and Pearl (a headstrong daughter) exhausts and enchants her as much as she thought it would. Ellen (Jo’s best friend and quite the firecracker) is putting starting a brand new television series. This is Grace’s (celebrity diva) big secret. Martin is still trying to woo Jo in his hapless and oft-misguided ways. Daniel, who is Pearl’s world traveler of a father, shows up right out of nowhere. This last makes things even more complicated than they already were.

She is building her new life near the sea, with the help of her buddies and her Gran that she loves a lot.

This author is able to write about everyday things in a chatty and rambling kind of way, but you enjoy it. Fans of the novel found this to be a likable story that kept them turning the pages and made it hard for them to ever put it down. It was full of characters that feel like real people that seem like they would be great to get to know. This author does a great job of inhabiting the heart and mind of a reader and showing off the human qualities in characters that make it quite easy to connect with each and every one of them.

“The Only Boy For Me”. This is McNeil’s debut novel and was released in 2001. Annie Baker is living the life in the idyllic countryside; she has a part time job as freelance film producer, and there is a boy that is crazy for her. Only thing, is that he is six years old.

Annie has felt for a while that she is always being pulled in about seven directions. That seems to be the best part of her life. It would look like there is trouble brewing and some man she needs to fuss on (either her son that only wants sausages for breakfast or Barney, a high maintenance boss that gets attacked by the espresso maker). Or it is the crew on the ad shoots she does, who have their work ethics determined by how hungry they are. Then there is Lawrence that wants her to get fired. Then she meets a man named Mack.

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