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Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Lace Makers of Glenmara...Review

About the book:
"You can always start again," Kate Robinson's mother once told her, "all it takes is a new thread." Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling twenty-six-year-old fashion designer follows her mother's advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself.

She arrives on the west coast, in the seaside hamlet of Glenmara. In this charming, fading Gaelic village, Kate quickly develops a bond with members of the local lace-making society: Bernie, alone and yearning for a new purpose since the death of her beloved husband, John; Aileen, plagued by doubt, helplessly watching her teenage daughter grow distant; Moira, caught in a cycle of abuse and denial, stubbornly refusing help from those closest to her; Oona, in remission from breast cancer, secretly harboring misgivings about her marriage; Colleen, the leader of the group, worried about her fisherman husband, missing at sea. And outside this newfound circle is local artist Sullivan Deane, an enigmatic man trying to overcome a tragedy of his own.

Under Glenmara's spell, Kate finds the inspiration that has eluded her, and soon she and the lace makers are creating a line of exquisite lingerie. In their skilled hands, flowers, Celtic dragons, nymphs, fish, saints, kings, and queens come to life, rendered with painterly skill. The circle also offers them something more—the strength to face their long-denied desires and fears. But not everyone welcomes Kate, and a series of unexpected events threatens to unravel everything the women have worked so hard for. . .

A charming, enjoyable novel that plays on the premise of a group of women bonding over a creative skill. What sets it apart, however, is the delightful Irish setting. In Glenmara, Kate discovers a quaint, Irish village where the residents resist the changing times, and the women continue making lace the way their mothers and grandmothers taught them. Missing her late mother and running away from a broken engagement, Kate not only finds a home, but she beings to find herself again. Under her creative guidance, Kate's new friends venture out of their traditional lace-making into the world of women's lingerie. As they allow themselves to be creative, they each find their own answers about life.

While somewhat predictable, the story is still engaging. It's an an easy read, filled with Irish history, bits about lace-making, talk of loss and love, and even a ghost or two. Highly enjoyable and easily recommended.

Thanks to Julie Daurio from Harper Collins Publishers for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Heather Barbieri here. You can purchase your own copy of this terrific novel here.

Read 8/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. Reminds me of The Friday Night Knitting Club. I liked that book so might look for this one. Ireland? I'm part Irish, so, yeah, definitely!

  2. I've got this book in my tbr pile and really must get to it. I love reading about Irish history. Glad you liked it.

  3. I've seen the book around but wasn't really going to pick it up because I thought it may be too similar to The Lace Reader. Your review has changed my opinion, I will have to give this one a try.

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.