Kate Robinson, a 26 year old fashion designer, is overwhelmed with heartbreak and loss. Hoping to find new purpose in her life, she flees to her ancestral home of Ireland. By luck or by fate, she finds what she’s looking for in the seaside village of Glenmara, where she is taken in by the newly widowed Bernie. Bernie introduces Kate to the members of the local lace making society, each with their own troubles and secret yearnings. With Kate’s help they begin work on a new line of exquisite lace lingerie, and their skilled hands create flowers, dragons, nymphs, fish, and other beautiful, wearable works of art. Hands thus occupied, their hearts begin to heal as well. And outside this new circle Kate finds a love interest in local artist Sullivan Deane, an enigmatic man trying to overcome a tragedy of his own. Not everyone welcomes Kate, though, and happy endings don’t come to all. Will a series of unexpected unravel everything the women have worked so hard for?
Bubby: Ah, Ireland! The green hills, the quaint villages, the neighborly people with fab accents! How I have missed dear Ireland!
Sissy: Well dear bubby Kathleen O’Sullivan, who in her dreams rotates between having tea and crumpets in a quaint English village and picking shamrocks on a wind-swept green hill in Ireland, since you have never actually been to Ireland, I suspect you’ve been eating too much lucky charms cereal and using Irish Whiskey instead of milk! I Do want to go to Ireland, and the setting for this book, Glenmara, sounds like a lovely place to land.
Bubby: It’s genetic memory, my darling sister–I can dream, right? Going to Ireland, the home of her ancestors, has always been a dream of Kate Robinson but I don’t think she thought she’d end up making lacy lingerie in Glenmara. How scandalous!
Sissy: Scandalous my eye! You readers should just see the collection of lacy scandal that Bubby owns! She would swim to Ireland to get her hands on some of those confections to add to her drawer of delectables. I understand how making beautiful, personal items might be just the thing to make women feel strong and empowered. This book reminded me of a Maeve Binchy read where you get into the lives and stories of several people and become emotionally invested. It was lovely, engaging writing on the part of Heather Barbieri.
Bubby: I can neither acknowledge or deny the above accusations. The contents of my dresser are classified! I do think that with Sissy’s birthday (and it’s a big one!) looming just over the horizon, this is the perfect time to purchase something special and lacy for her. Hmmm . . .I have some shopping to do! I loved how the townswomen of Glenmara (for the most part) opened their arms and hearts to Kate. The story is a good lesson on acceptance, both of newcomers and of the changes that inevitably happen in life. I must say that I would love to learn the art of lace making. I think it would be wonderful to know how to create such beautiful stuff. I am afraid that I don’t have the patience for it though – so I will stick to making lace out of icing and fondant – it’s easier and you can eat it after!
Sissy: Don’t you dare waste money on that frippery for me–you know I won’t wear it. My skin is in a delicate state right now and only tolerates high-tech soft cotton-like moisture-wicking fabrics. I say hurrah to anyone who wants to wear it, though. Wear away, and feel gorgeous! I like how in The Lace Makers of Glenmara there is a subtext about the culture and way of life that is being lost, and that many in the village had a desire to preserve it–specifically the lace making and the Gaelic language. Bernie, the kind widow who sort of adopts Kate, puts out a Gaelic language newsletter. It not only preserves the language, but also is quite witty and humorous.
Bubby: Yes, I love the crime blotter feature – hilarious!
Sissy: There is also a delicious romance brewing between Kate and a man she meets and quite dislikes at first. I’m thinking he sort of looks like Gerard Butler or a young Aiden Quinn. There are all sorts of obstacles in their way, of course, but life is like that, right? This novel is full of reality, and doesn’t dodge life’s hardships in the way a more fluffy novel might. While I certainly am not in line asking for more hardships, I do understand that they make the good things better and more appreciated, and this book reflects that.
Bubby: I love that the women of Glenmara were able to not only help Kate heal, and heal themselves but also revitalize the economy of the town in the process. Who knew Irish lace undies would be all the rage? The Lace Makers of Glenmara is a cozy book about love, friendship and life. This is one that I actually did read in my bathtub and it was a perfect fit. 3 ½ lacy, frothy bubbles.
Sissy: The writing in this book flowed beautifully and therefore was a joy to read. One of those books that I read in two sittings whilst ignoring the general populace of my domicile. I give it 4 ½ flowing bubbles.
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© Bubble Bath Books 2013