The Lace Makers of Glenmara - Heather Barbieri


Heather Barbieri 

Back cover:  "You can always start again." Kate Robinson's mother once told her.  "All it takes is a new thread."  Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, Kate follows her mother's advice and flees to Ireland, her ancestral homeland, hoping to reinvent herself.  In the seaside hamlet of Glenmara, the struggling twenty six year old fashion designer quickly develops a bond with members of the local lace making society--and soon she and the lace makers are creating a line of exquisite lingerie, their skilled hands bringing flowers, Celtic dragons, nymphs, saints, kings, and queens to life with painterly skill.  The circle also offers them something more: the strength to face their desires and fears.  But not everyone in this charming, fading Gaelic village welsomes Kate, and a series of unexpected events threatens to unravel everything the women have worked so hard for. 

I rarely read relationship books oftentimes finding them maudlin and depressing, but I was intrigued when I heard about The Lace Makers of Glenmara.  I stepped out of my reading box with the book and found it to be unique, heartwarming and far from depressing.  The characters are well drawn, interesting, full of strength and beauty.  At the beginning of the story, we find Kate hiking through the remote countryside of Ireland.  She has been traveling by foot and hitching rides here and there for a month.   Life had been rough recently with the death of her mother, her boyfriend dumping her for a model and the failure of her recent fashion line.  Her mother left her a small inheritance and made her promise before she passed on, that she would take the trip.

Each step she took left a mark, some visible, some not, marks that said I was here, I exist.  That was one of the reasons people went away, wasn't it, to forget, to reinvent themselves?

She was on her own now. It felt strange, yes, but she was ready for something new, to be someone new." Pg 5

She discovers the remote little town of Glenmara  and a group of women who make lace:  Bernie, Aileen, Moira, Oona and Colleen.   Bernie invites Kate to stay with her and the women teach her all about lace.  Kate comes up with an idea to make pretty lingerie using lace and the project takes on a life of its own.  Through the project, the women find strength and hope and work through their individual problems, finding solutions  and happiness in life.  However the local Catholic priest is old fashioned and thinks Kate is misleading the woman.  Meanwhile, Bernie does a little match making on the side and introduces Kate to Sullivan, a handsome young single Irishman.  She also discovers life isn't perfect and learns to live with that.   

The Lace Makers of Glen Mara is a story, more than one story.  A story of several characters who face love and heartbreak, life and death, the beauty and ugliness of life,  what it means to care deeply for your husband, wife, child and parents.  It will make you laugh and cry and think.  I highly recommend it.

Thank you to Trish of TLC Book Tours for asking me to be a part of the tour, Heather Barbieri for writing such an endearing story and Harper Perennial for providing me with a courtesy copy of the the book.   Check out the other tour stops and see what every one else had to say about the book.

In accordance with FTC Guidelines, I do not receive any compensation for this review. The review is based solely on my opinion of the story and extremely subjective.  I do not sell the books or receive any compensation from any of the links to online book sellers, authors or publishers. The links are for informational purposes only.


  1. Robin, sometimes we (as readers) have to step outside of our box to discover books we wouldn't normally read. Until a few years ago I never read anything but thrillers and now that I've opened up my reading list, it has helped my writing.

  2. What a wonderful review..this book touched me on so many levels too!

  3. Because I am a lacemaker, I really should read this one... sounds so much better than I thought it was going to be.

  4. Crimey: I'm discovering all sorts of interesting and not so interesting books, plus unique writing styles.

    Staci: Same here. So amazing and usually when you least expect it.

    Beth - thought you would like this one. I thought about your lace making when I read it.

  5. "I stepped out of my reading box" - I'd have to do the same thing to read this book. Even though I LOVE Ireland stories, the relationship aspect is usually not my cup of tea. But I've heard such good things that I might have to give it a shot ...

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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