The women of Glenmara, Ireland have always been well known for their lacemaking skills. But when an American comes to town with suggestions for a new way to use their delicate handiwork, the ladies might never look at their bobbins and threads the same way again!
“The Lacemakers of Glenmara,” by Heather Barbieri, is a delightful novel set in the most beautiful country in the world, Ireland. With writing that is beautifully reminiscent of the beloved Irish author Maeve Binchy, Barbieri takes her readers on an adventure to the Emerald Isle that will not soon be forgotten.
Kate Robinson is traveling Ireland on a quest to heal her heart from the sorrow of losing her mother and the heartbreak of losing her boyfriend. When she stumbles upon the quiet fishing village of Glenmara during one of the town’s market days, she is intrigued by a booth featuring the handmade laces. Exhausted from her travels, she takes one of the ladies of the lace society up on her offer of a place to stay for a while.
As Kate recovers, she finds herself drawn to Bernie and the other ladies of the lace society as they teach her the skills required to become a lacemaker. She sees potential in using the lace to embellish and enhance other things than the tea towels, cuffs and collars the ladies are used to making. Kate suggests using some of their pieces as inserts in lingerie, and immediately the ladies are excited about the new possibilities for their craft.
As Kate works with the lacemakers to begin to offer their new projects for sell, the local parish priest becomes enraged that something so refined and pure as the centuries old craft of lacemaking could be used for such scandalous means.
The lacemakers engage in a quiet battle to gain acceptance for their work ensues, while Kate in the meantime is falling in love with Sullivan, the local potter who has the only internet access in town. Tragedies, triumphs and thrills are in store as the talented ladies come into their own.
“The Lacemakers of Glenmara” is hands-down one of the best novels I have read this year. I sincerely hope that Ms. Barbieri has plans for a sequel, because I’d love to know what happens after the ladies become famous.