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The Lace Makers of Glenmara


The Lace Makers of Glenmara

It’s been said that a journey of a million miles starts
with one step. For Kate Robinson, her journey begins with a
trans-Atlantic flight over 5,000 miles to Ireland, in the hopes of
restoring her spirit and finding inspiration. In the past year,
Kate has been dealing with the death of her mother, a crushing
breakup with her boyfriend, and to add insult to many injuries, the
failure of her fashion line. She learned about sewing from her
mother, who taught her “you can always start over….all
it takes is new thread.” In an effort to reboot her life, she
travels to Ireland, a trip she planned to take with her late mother
before the cancer took over. Hopefully, a new environment can help
her find the inspiration she’s been craving.

While traveling aimlessly along the western coast, Kate happens
upon the tiny coastal hamlet of Glenmara, a town whose residents
need her as much as she needs them. Bernie, recovering from the
sudden death of her husband, John, kindly offers the weary Kate a
room to rent. Not only does she recognize a troubled soul in Kate,
she deeply desires the company. Aileen is fighting a losing battle
with her teenage daughter, who is asserting her independence. Moira
is Aileen’s younger sister, a sweet, unassuming woman, trying
to keep the abuse she receives at the hands of her violent husband
a secret from the group. Colleen, a fisherman’s wife, is
never relaxed until her husband’s boat is safely in port.
Oona is in remission from breast cancer, but struggling with her
post-mastectomy body, and finding it difficult to reconnect with
her husband.

These women make up the Glenmara Lace Society, where over thread
and thimbles, they discuss any and all of life’s problems.
They “had their own special history, knew each other better
than anyone in the world, better than their families, even, because
when it came to families, there were roles to play and expectations
and arguments.” With Kate’s arrival and her expertise
in fashion, they begin to see the huge gap in the market. Why not
take this lovely lace and embroider it into some sexy lingerie? Not
if Father Byrne has his way. He’ll stop at nothing to get the
ladies back to making doilies.

Along with the acceptance and support Kate engenders from the
group, she encounters Sullivan Deane, the resident artist and
potter in the town. He came back to Glenmara after a devastating
tragedy, and he and Kate soon learn they have many things in
common, not just their shared loss.

Through her romance with the handsome Deane and the close
friendships she forges with Bernie and the other women of the Lace
Society, Kate soon learns that the only true path to healing is
“perhaps to let yourself feel the pain, forgive yourself, as
best you can, then try to let it go…That even though we lose
the ones we’ve loved, they aren’t gone from us forever,
that they are with us, still, but in a different way.”

THE LACE READER will enjoy this sweet and heartrending novel from
Heather Barbieri, whose debut SNOW IN JULY was selected as a Book
Sense Pick and a Glamour magazine “Riveting
Read.” This multigenerational story of women will also make
it a natural choice for book clubs.

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on December 30, 2010

The Lace Makers of Glenmara
by Heather Barbieri

  • Publication Date: June 22, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0061772461
  • ISBN-13: 9780061772467