The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heater Barbieri

Disclaimer: I am a sucker for all things Irish. Therefore I was predisposed to like this book, even if they only mentioned wee people, salty crags, and green hills once. 2 out of those 3 made it into this book.
You have heard of a “feel good” movie? Well, it isn’t often that I come across a “feel good” book, but The Lace Makers of Glenmara is. We all suffer losses of one kind or another in our life. Let us hope that we can all find our own version of Glenmara, Ireland and its wonderful lace makers to help us get back on track.
Kate, a 26 year old aspiring fashion designer, has suffered a few major blows in the past months. Her mother died from Cancer, the guy that she thought she was going to marry suddenly left her for another girl, and her first clothing line didn’t make even a ripple in the ocean that is fashion.
Trying to get away from the pain, she decides to take the trip she and her mother had planned to her ancestral homeland, Ireland. A few months of backpacking to feed the soul and escape grief lands her in the sleepy, almost forgotten village of Glenmara. Glenmara is no stranger to grief, loss, or the dwindling of dreams. People grow old, spouses die, their children move away to the big cities, Dublin, London, tourism is nonexistent.
Kate stumbles upon a group of ladies that call themselves the Lace Makers. They take her in for the night and together they transform not only themselves, but put both Kate and Glenmara back on the map.
The characters are fun, well-developed and varied. I even fell in love with the nosy old school priest that tries his best to keep the town stuck in the Catholic dark ages. The Ireland that Barbieri describes is foreboding, isolated and magically beautiful at the same time.
I mentioned “feel good”, this book made me feel that with caring friends and family, a willingness to take risks and change, and acceptance of loss as a part of life, anything is possible. The one thing that it was missing was wee people, but that would have just been corny.

The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061721557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061721557
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