I tend not to like short pieces because they leave me feeling unfulfilled and wanting more. However, when I learned about SheBooks this was the first title that caught my eye. My Great-Great Grandparents came out of Ireland in the late 1800’s and settled in New York. Here was a contemporary emigration and not to the east coast, but to San Francisco, a city I have loved and lived in. I wondered why the author left and how she felt about NorCal. I worried that the short format wouldn’t allow me to grasp either answer.
Let me tell you, I cried. That’s right, Ethel Rohan was able to pluck my heart strings by bringing me back in my own time machine in less than 38 pages. It’s embarrassing; very few books make me cry, but this one had me balling and I’ll tell why.
This isn’t so much a story of going away as it is a story of coming home and taking care of those that took such wonderful care of you as a wee bairn. Rohan made every word count in recounting her childhood and the lengths she took to make her mother feel useful and uses just 4 teeny paragraphs to explain the burden that no child should have, little own, to themselves.
Fast forward to years later when first she loses her mother than perhaps the most heart wrenching of all, her father while back in Ireland. If was the most heartfelt, vulnerable, and touching few paragraphs of goodbye that I have ever read. Grab Out of Dublin if you love your family, if you have lost members of your family, or just because you could use a good cry. I did.
Out of Dublin by Ethel Rohan
Welcome to another fun-filled Saturday thanks to There’s A Book and her thought provoking questions.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for 24 hours, where would you go?
This question was a wee bit easier for me to answer than the ones from the past. You see there is one place that I have been wanting to go since I was knee high to the sheep on their rolling green hills. I have never been there, but have always felt it calling me home in my heart.
Thanks to NASA for this shot
I want to go to Ireland.
The beautiful chilly vistas to the sea.
The Banger, the Sausage, the Corned Beef….can you hand me a napkin?
A wee bar to wet the whistle before we go on to our finial destination.
Just one more wee pick me up before we head to the scariest castle in Ireland….ans I swear that there is no real reason that this picture is bigger than the others….Did you see the pattern in the foam? That takes skill, just saying.
Somewhere I would try to dig up my ancestors, buy a sweater, play a round of golf and if the time is right and we had planned well, I would love to get married in Ireland. (Just don’t tell my guy that….he freaks whenever I bring up the “M” word)
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