“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.
In reading The Lace Makers of Glenmara we are taken along a journey with Kate through her travels in Ireland to the small seaside village of Glenmara. There in the beauty of Ireland she finds a wonderful community of women who have their own struggles and grief but find a way to deal with it through their friendship and lace making group. Kate is welcomed by most of the women in the group, although there are some concerns that she is an outsider and not "one" of them. As they work together, the ladies of Glenmara teach Kate the art of lace making while Kate helps them to expand this beautiful craft in a way that touches each of the women's lives.
The story is mainly told through the narration of Kate but it does alternate to the perspectives of other characters in the novel which was quite effective. The characters are strong and interesting, some are quirky and mysterious. I found myself caring about each one and having strong feelings about the few characters that I wasn't as fond of. The beauty of Ireland is conveyed through the story and descriptions of the countryside, especially this small town of Glenmara.
There are twists and turns throughout the story that challenge the lace making group and force the ladies to examine their hearts and passions. There are a few wonderful men that stand out as well, a love interest for Kate and a father who stands up for his daughter and the women of Glenmara. This is a beautifully woven story of women, friendship, love and loss and how you can take sorrows and disappointments and turn them into something positive.
I am a fan of women's fiction and to add a beautiful background of Ireland and the art and craft of lace making to the mix makes The Lace Makers of Glenmara a wonderful novel. It's perfect for a summer read, it has charm and will provide a light and lovely escape to a beautiful place.
About the Author:
Heather Barbieri is half-Irish. Her paternal ancestors left counties Donegal and Tipperary after The Great Famine and worked in the coal mines of Eastern Pennsylvania before settling in Butte, Montana. Her impeccably dressed maternal grandmother was a descendant of a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria and instilled an avid interest in fashion in her granddaughters. Barbieri’s first novel, Snow in July (Soho Press), was selected as a Book Sense Pick, a Glamour magazine “Riveting Read,” and a Library Journal Notable First Novel. Before turning to writing fiction full-time, she was a magazine editor, journalist, and film critic. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and three children, and is currently working on her third novel.
*Connect with Heather on her website, and on Facebook.
Disclosure: Thanks to Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of this book to review. I am an Amazon and Indiebound associate.