Jo McKenzieís life as she knows it will never be the same. After her husband tells her that heís been having an affair for a year and wants a divorce, she rails against him and he storms out of the house. A few hours later, policemen show up at the door. Her husband has had an accident, they say. Unfortunately, heís not going to make it.
Jo is torn between outrage and despair. In an effort to pull her life back together and start anew, she moves to an English beach town with her two young boys. She takes over her grandmotherís yarn shop (called a wool shop across the pond) and tries to revitalize it and redefine it within the community. She begins to settle into her new home and make friends with the quirky personalities in her small town. Slowly, as she becomes part of the community and her shop starts to take off, Jo begins to live her life again and enjoy what she has around her.
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club, the latest in the knitting novel craze begun with Kate Jacobsí The Friday Night Knitting Club, was previously published in the United Kingdom as Divas Donít Knit and is a knitting fanís dream come true. Knitting is a central part of the story and in fact ties the whole novel together - if you arenít a knitter, this book will make you want to start. Itís a great social activity, especially with groups such as Joís ďStitch and BitchĒ weekly get-togethers. Thatís why it makes such a great centerpiece for novels such as this.
Jo is quirky and has great wit; her dry humor keeps the book entertaining. However, she is surprisingly unemotional and detached throughout the course of the novel. For example, despite the unexpected death of her husband, Jo doesnít seem that broken up about it. Most likely, the fact that he had a woman on the side had something to do with it, but itís almost unbelievable the way she doesnít seem to grieve at all. Then again, because her husband traveled so much, she was basically like a single mom anyway. The whole situation wasnít really that new to her. Generally speaking, this book isnít really about emotions; instead, itís about making connections and appreciating what is around you.
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is so easy to read, a great book to curl up with and read on a rainy afternoon. Any fan of womenís fiction will enjoy this engaging and well-written novel.