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The Lace Makers of Glenmara

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  3,022 ratings  ·  567 reviews
"You can always start again," Kate Robinson's mother once told her, "all it takes is a new thread." Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling twenty-six-year-old fashion designer follows her mother's advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself.

When she arrives on the west coast, in the fading sea
Paperback, Large Print, 360 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by HarperLuxe (first published January 1st 2009)
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I so enjoyed reading this book. I did not want to put it down, but I did not want it to end. The friendships, the joys, the sorrows, the love, it was all there. I hope to read more by Heather Barbieri!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway.

I had a lot of trouble actually getting through this book. While there are some good ideas here, the writing just didn't do it for me. I didn't feel very in touch with the characters; they seemed rather flat to me and prone to strange emotions (Kate losing her mother's necklace and not seeming to care much; Aileen is jealous of Kate after only a few days, despite Kate not interacting much with Bernie).

I was also frustrated by all of the telling
Once upon a time not so long ago, an American guy left an American girl. The girl took off to Ireland seeking solace. She hitchhiked (like that happens a lot in the 21st century) and camped around the country and one day wandered into the tiny town of Glenmara. She immediately was taken in by a widow and accepted as a member of the local lacemaking group and by the townspeople, with 2 exceptions. She also immediately met a very handsome man. So besides the girl, the guy, and the widow, you have ...more
Caroline Niziol
Aug 20, 2009 Caroline Niziol rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romance novel fans
I was drawn to The Lace Makers of Glenmara because I hoped to find details of lace-making; it's one of the crafts I've explored the least. However, this book focuses more on relationships, romantic and friendly, than on the handiwork itself.

In this contemporary "finding oneself"-themed novel, the jilted Kate backpacks around Ireland and stumbles up on a postcard-perfect Irish town, complete with cheery older women, convivial old men, a suspicious and legalistic priest, rolling hills, a village
Novel. Aspiring seamstress Kate from Seattle flees to mother Ireland after her mother dies from cancer and her fiancé Ethan leaves her. She travels around the romantic wilds of the West until she is taken under the wings of a local ladies' lace-making guild in the tiny town of Glenmara. The ladies (Bernie, Aileen, Moira, Oona, and Colleen) teach Kate the old ways of making Irish lace and she in turn shows them how to incorporate them into more modern designs. Will she or won't she fall for local ...more
I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. Too much drama and too little character development. There really was a great seed planted there with the setting and the idea of this traditional art bringing modern people together... but it was disappointing in the end. I skimmed over large sections, not really interested or invested enough to care what was happening...

A 1.5 star would be closer to how I felt about it -
Meh. I just didn't care about the characters; and also, there was something so fake-Irish about it. The Irish folks are either faithfilled and optimistic, or full of deep Celtic wisdom, or drunk and scarred. *snore* Here's a crazy thought: How about trying "interesting"? If you want to read about Irish, I'd go for the Crazyleadies of Pearl Street. So they're Irish-American, not Irish - at least they are interesting.
I can't say enough about this novel. It enchanted me right from the start through the finish. Funny, heartbreaking, relate-able, transportive. A glimpse of my heritage in the present. Wonderful.
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Blodeuedd Finland
My thoughts:

First I must say that my review is not going to give this wonderful book justice. It's just one of those books that is so wonderfully written that I just not have enough words to express why I loved it so.

Kate designs clothes and loves to sew gets dumped by her fiancé, so she leaves for Ireland and just wanders around. She is both sad over her relationship and her mother's death. She is a bit broken and she finds solace in Glenmara. A broken town with no tourists and people are fleei
Written elsewhere...
Have you ever felt like escaping from your life for awhile? Jumping in a car, and just driving somewhere far away? Away from problems or the negative things that weigh you down?

I know that I have. And, I think many women feel that way during times of stress or hardship. I think that’s one reason I was hooked instantly by The Lacemakers of Glenmara, by Heather Barbieri, a book I’m reviewing for MotherTalk. This story follows Kate Robinson, a struggl
Margo Brooks
This book had me laughing out loud and shedding tears, even though I was sitting in the middle seat of a plane. I loved it. The dialog was especially good--some of the best I've ever read.

Barbieri is a short-story writer, which may explain why some reviewers had a hard time with the book. The beginning uses short story techniques to set mood. Short sentences composed of descriptive phrases. But I found these sentences particularly good in depicting the mind set of someone who had just lost her
Just in time for summer comes The Lace Makers of Glenmara (available next Tuesday). I'm a sucker for books set in Ireland (note the entire Maeve Binchy library over there in my GoodReads widget), and this one hits all the notes: lousy weather, rugged terrain, mysterious travellers, witty elders.

Kate is fleeing a failed relationship, a failed career move and her mother's death. She takes the trip to Ireland that she'd been planning to take with her mother, and ends up stranded in the tiny hamlet
Apr 29, 2009 Bridget rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chick-lit fans, Ireland fans, lace fans
Shelves: 2009-reads
I received an Advance Reader’s Edition of this title, which will be published in July 2009. It tells the story of Kate, a young woman from Seattle who has recently lost her mother to cancer, and her live-in boyfriend of five years to a young model. To add insult to injury, she is a clothing designer whose latest collection went nowhere.

She decides to visit Ireland, for a change of scenery, and because it was a trip she and her mother had originally planned to make together. After spending time i
Summer brings summer reads. The Lace Makers of Glenmara is a pleasant, if predictable, novel. It tells the tale of Kate, who leaves Seattle for Ireland, hoping to leave behind the death of her mother, the break-up of a relationship and the failure of her fashion line in the process. Kate's tourist tour of Ireland sidetracks when a train stoppage lands her in the village of Glenmara. Stranded there for a week until public transportation runs through again, Kate meets Bernie and the other women wh ...more
Carol Rogers
In all honesty I can't think of anything positive about this book.

Has the author actually been to Ireland, does she know anything other than what the Irish tourist board write about the country?

This book has fake written all over it. I read it because I needed a book to read and a friend lent it to me, someone who knows that I know a lot about Ireland, and thought I would enjoy it. But it is a book written for American tourists to take with them to Ireland and give them something to pass away th
Heather Barbieri has written a novel about loss, and finding yourself- about moving on and moving up.
It is the story of Kate, a young American, steeped in heartbreak. She takes the trip of a lifetime to Ireland, and makes friends with the lace makers of Glenmara- a small Irish town. It is the story of Kate's interaction with the lace makers, the story of the interactions between the lace makers and villagers and the story of how to move on with your life when you are laid out flat.
It is a beauti
The Lace Makers of Glenmara is a beautiful, heartfelt story of grief, friendship, adventure, tradition, love, and so much more. While traveling in Ireland, Kate Robinson happens upon the tiny village of Glenmara, and little does she know that her life will never be the same. The women of the village have a lace-making club that Kate becomes part of, and she takes their handiwork in an entirely new direction. The women are a close-knit group, providing friendship and support to each other through ...more
Jan 10, 2010 Rosalie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephanie
Recommended to Rosalie by: I don't remember
I loved this story. Kate a clothing designer has lost her mother to cancer and her boyfriend (to another woman). Now the line of clothing that she designed has been rejected. She leaves everything behind and travels to Ireland (the homeland of her grandparents). She begins to travel by bus from one small town to another when she happens upon Glenmara. There she befriends Bernie a widowed craftwoman and her sewing guild of fellow lacemakers. Kate is adopted as their "apprentice" and learns the an ...more
For recently widowed Bernie Cullen, the arrival of Kate Robinson into her life comes as a blessing. Kate is touring Ireland on her own, trying to soothe her depression over recent losses of her own. Kate is not planning to stay, but the next bus out isn't due for a week. Bernie introduces her to her lace making group, and Kate, much to her surprise, finds her interest stimulated and engaged for the first time in months. Lacemakers is a novel of transformation, in which Kate, Bernie, and company ...more
Cute little piece of fiction. Dealt with some women's issues and some religious issues. Fascinating how quickly the main character picked up lace making which is a tremendously difficult skill. Nice to have fiction's help though!
Kelly (TheWellReadRedhead)
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Andi Ricche
I read this straight thru and really enjoyed it. The characters were well written and the places could be seen. Beautiful. I did shed quite a few tears - didn't hurt that I had Van Morrison on the turntable while reading. :)
Juju (Tales of
Most books arrive to my home after I have sought them out. But some books find me. They arrive quite by accident. Looking for a home or someone to share their story with. Labor Day and now The Lace Makers of Glenmara both came to me this way.

What it is not: It's a not a neat little love story about finding "Mr. Perfect" in the Emerald Isle. Even though there is one ruggedly handsome fellow.

What it is: A really honestly beautiful thoughtful story about loss, pain, joy, and finding friendship and
Susan Oleksiw
This is a quiet, gentle story about a young woman named Kate who travels to Ireland to get away from a failed relationship and a dying career as a dress designer. She is also mourning the loss of her mother in the previous year. With no clear direction, Kate accepts a ride from a Traveler, a gypsy in Ireland, and is put down at the village of Glenmara. She arrives on market day, and meets a group of women who are engaged in making and selling traditional Irish lace. Cold, wet, hungry, Kate is ta ...more
A great book.

While the reviews weren't that flattering, and I can understand why, don't allow it to stop you from reading this book.

The unflattering reviews simply don't understand it. Not all book can be light, airy, fluff, with nothing negative happening in them.

The Lace Makers of Glenmara takes many of the bad things that happen in life, and spins them into a dail of home, survival, and courage. As well as becoming stronger, moving on, and not letting our past keep us trapped there forever.
I received this book from a GR's giveaway. I am sad to report I thought this book rather boring. The characters were dull and flat. There was so much telling and hardly any action. Kate and Sullivans storyline was abrupt. This book also wins worlds weakest sex scene. There was way too much description of the land, the sky, the lace blah, blah. I feel like nothing happened. It took me 8 days to read this and that is a LONG time for me.
This was a brain candy book that I picked up at the Library to read over the holidays. It has every Irish cliché that exists: the lost forlorn girl, the childless but loving widow, the stern and overbearing priest, the wanderer, the fests, the bitter angry woman, the fishermen, the abused-by-the-drunken husband, etc.

It was fine for what I needed at the moment but suffice it to say I'm quite glad it was a library book.
This is the story of Kate and her visit to Ireland where she meets the Lace Makers of Glenmara. This meeting changes her life and theirs in incredible ways. This is a book of heartache, tragedy, change, and new beginnings. It is a story of loss and mostly one of hope. This is a story I will treasure for years to come.

"Take up the thread and start again. You can always start again." --from The Lace Makers of Glenmara
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The author of three novels, The Cottage at Glass Beach (Harper, 2012), The Lace Makers of Glenmara (Harper, 2009) and Snow in July (Soho, 2004), Heather Barbieri has been awarded fellowships and international prizes for her short stories. Before turning to fiction full time, she was a magazine editor, journalist, and film critic.

Heather is half Irish. Her paternal ancestors left counties Donegal
More about Heather Barbieri...
The Cottage At Glass Beach Snow in July

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