Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Lace Makers of Glenmara-Heather Barbieri

The Lace Makers of Glenmara
Heather Barbieri
Harper, Jun 22 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780061772467

Twenty-six year old Kate Robinson lived in Seattle her entire life until it recently shattered. Her forever man Ethan chose her best friend Ella over her. Adding to the betrayal is that Ella modeled Kate’s failed designs. Finally her mom succumbed to cancer just before mother and daughter were to tour Ireland together. Kate decides to visit the land of her ancestors on her own starting in Dublin to begin a new thread and end old useless patterns. Heartbroken Kate ends up in Glenmara.

The village lace makers welcome the American. Still grieving for her recently deceased spouse Bernie feels a special bond with the mourning Kate. Other female survivors like Aileen separated from her husband and daughter and known for ripping skin from even loved ones; her daughter Moira involved with an abuser; Oona a breast cancer survivor with scars mental and physical; and Colleen whose husband is lost at sea also adopt the American. When she persuades her new friends to add lace to their undergarments, Father Byrne warns them they will wear their lingerie in hell.

This is an upbeat inspirational tale that focuses on the belief of Pangloss (from Candide) that this is the most perfect of worlds with the caveat that one takes the time to find the magic. Ironically the traumas and tragedies that each of the key women and Kate’s male interest Sullivan (Ella is right that there us always a Sullivan in a Gaelic tale) that make each of the stars seem genuine although none of their tsuris are deeply elucidated. Still fans will enjoy the overall charm of The Lace Makers of Glenmara.

Harriet Klausner

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