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Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,091 ratings  ·  354 reviews
Set on a small Irish dairy farm, this tender and funny debut novel follows two lost souls as they try to carve out new lives amid a colorful cast of characters reminiscent of those in the hit film Waking Ned Divine. Abby has been estranged from the family farm since her rebellious mother ran off with her when she was a small child. Kit is a burned out New York stockbroker ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2002)
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Chocolat by Joanne HarrisLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Food-Related Fiction
64th out of 374 books — 450 voters
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Nouvelle Cuisine
77th out of 314 books — 185 voters

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Community Reviews

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Dorothyanne Brown
To give full context, I'm in the middle of a move, tied up with family concerns, and otherwise surviving the end of a particularly nasty winter. I kept this book out of the packed file because I planned to read it and leave it behind.
Within the first few pages, I realized that there was no way I could do that. I have to keep this sweet, loveable book nearby. The magical cheese farm of the Josephs Corrigan and Feehan, with its gaggle of singing pregnant milkmaids and cows that milk best to the S
Cheese lovers, unite! I eat cheese everyday, so the title drew me in. One thing I found charming was how, in the beginning, the cheese was personified as an angry female who was offended at being left in the fridge to rot. This is just one of the odd/fun ways of writing in Lynch's novel. Another neat thing were the "quotes" on the art of cheesemaking. For example, I never thought about how good cheese needs to come from good grass(the cow's food) ... and even the rain, sun, and time effect the c ...more
So worth reading, I can't tell you !
Every now and then I think to myself 'I wish I were a cheesemaker...'
Quirky tale of the love inherent in making good cheese and the redemption and reclamation of young women gone 'awry'.
Perhaps it doesn't deserve a 5 star, but I give it that because of the delightful old men that put their love and patience and energy into ripening their cheese...
Laugh out loud funny. Sweet and memorable, the taste lingers in my memory still.
This book reminded me of a Maeve Binchy novel. It is a tender tale of redemption and second chances. Deep in County Cork, Joseph Corrigan (Corry) and Joseph Feehan (Fee) make small batches of world famous cheese. Their two families have worked together for many generations, one family providing the milk and the other, the cheese making genius. When we first meet the old boys, they are interviewing for a new dairymaid. Her qualifications must be that she can carry a tune, has short fingernails, a ...more
May 29, 2008 Martha rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Vacationers and beach bums
If I could give it 2 and 1/2 stars, I would. Not particularly well-written or all that funny. It was cute. By no means was it a deep and thoughtful romance. It was on the level with Danielle Steele novels (both in story content and complexity of read) versus Anita Shreve. I give it 3 stars because it's fun, quick and perfect for the summer. Those of you who have read my reviews know that I am totally into mindless "chick-lit" right now and this was perfect for me with one personal exception whic ...more
(3.5 stars) Three stories come together in an Irish dairy farm. Corrie and Fee are the elderly cheesemakers, who are desperate to find the next generation before it is too late. Their operation is a labor of love, with many quirks, including pregnant, vegetarian milkmaids who milk to the Sound of Music. Abbey is the granddaughter who was taken away from the farm by her mother, and after marrying at a young age, she lives on a Pacific Island with her husband who is obsessed with irrigation. When ...more
Jamie Gough
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers is a fun, cozy read. It’s very easy to get into, and has many likeable characters.

Set primarily in Ireland, the story has elements of magical realism, such as an old cheesemaker with the ability to see into the future, and cheeses with magical attributes.

I really enjoyed the narrator’s voice. You can almost hear a warm smile in her words as she unfolds the story. Although this book addresses some heavy issues (such as alcoholism, adultery and even death), there is
Really good fast read. Not a deep thinking book, but a really sweet and surprisingly funny romance, but not just a romance and not a sickingly sweet romance. I laughed out loud a few times. Fee was my favorite character. I want to try some good cheese now. My tastes are really low. Cache Valley cheese is my premier.

Abby has been estranged from the family farm since her rebellious mother ran off with her when she was a small child. Kit is a burned out New York stockbroker who's down on his luck.
This was fun. I think if I were British - or Irish - or Australian - or something - I would have given it another star. The colloquialisms kind of threw me for a loop -trying to figure out how we might say the same thing here in America. The idea - a dairy farm in Ireland that crafts sublime cheese made using milk gathered by pregnant vegetarian young women from cows all named Maria, and the characters including a psychic old man and a farm full of quirky characters- calls Alice Hoffman to mind ...more
Cute, quirky characters. Didn't love it as much as "The Wedding Bees" but I enjoy her ability to infuse magical bits into the story-line (much like my favorite author, Sarah Addison Allen.)

"Blessed are Corrie and Fee, for theirs is the kingdom of the world's tastiest farmhouse cheese. Tucked away in a corner of Ireland, the lifelong friends turn out batch after batch of perfect Coolarney Blues and Golds, thanks to co-operative cows, non-meat-eating fecund milkmaids, and the wind blowing just so in the right direction. Add to this mixture Corrie's long-lost granddaughter Abbey, fresh from a remote but by no means backward island where her husband has been on a mission - alt
MyACPL Athens County Public Libraries
from James:

This book is sort of a cozy read that uses a lot of cussing. It's funny in parts and touching in others. Lynch is a fine storyteller and I can easily see why others would give "Blessed Are the Cheesemakers" 4 or even 5 stars. It's sweet in a gruff way and lines up easily with current popular books like "The Storied Life of AJ Fikry." That said, I found it too predictable and somewhat dated. And it has a terrible, terrible cover.

The basic story is of two aged fellows who are renowned f
Nov 21, 2008 Kimberly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Former Irish tourists, cheese lovers, and people needing a sense of family
Recommended to Kimberly by: Dixie
This book was, at the risk of sounding cliche, magical. I would have read it just for the way the dialogue is written in a blatant Irish accent. The relationship between the two cheesemakers and their little "family" is so tender. The ending actually produced blurry vision; I was surprised to find myself crying. And the ill will they harbor for their pasteurizer, Old Fart Arse, made me chuckle a few times. If you're sensitive to graphic sexual references, though, I'd skip this book.
This was fine, I guess? I liked aspects of it, and I definitely want to vacation at the farm, but there were also some issues with it. The tone is a little uneven--the author appears to be going for a kind of Sarah Addison Allen, magical romance kind of vibe, but there is a ton of profanity (usually delightfully delivered in an Irish accent) and there are a few pretty graphic scenes where two characters almost (but don't quite) have sex. Of course, when they finally do consummate their passion, ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the Irish dialect and the great local characters. I loved the idead of such a place and such people. I have been reading too many 'deep' books lately and this one was refreshing and just plain fun.

I also loved the cheese making. I think it would be a blast to learn how to make cheese.
Ik vond het een leuk boek. Zo vond ik bvb de beschrijving van de kaas die in elk hoofdstuk terugkomen wel fijn. De kaas verwijst feitelijk naar de gemoedstoestand van de persoon die in dat hoofdstuk de hoofdrol speelt. Een voorbeeld: 'Deze prinses had de uiterste verkoopdatum overschreden, en als een adellijke prinses bedierf, was dat een ervaring waarvan de tranen je in de ogen sprongen.Ze lag daar nu al bijna drie maanden in haar vetvrije papier, omhuld door een bruin papieren zakje van Murray ...more
Another pseudomym of Sophie's? What is her real name, I wonder.

This book is zany but fun to read: most events are improbable but add to the plot, just as the events in her Shopaholic do.
Good for some great laughs mixed with sorrow and revenge.
The charactes make the story.
A fun and worthwhile read, this book has a bit of everything to offer. I loved the title and premise of this story. Two elderly gentlemen, Joseph Corrigan and Joseph Feehan are owners of a small Irish dairy farm, where they produce wonderful cheese which is do to a lot of different factors, harmony amongst all, a group of vegetarian milkmaids, songs from The Sound of Music, played for the cows....
The group of characters are wonderful, and besides the two owners and the milkmaids are Avis, who ta
When I started this book, I thought it was a cute, easy summer read. At about page 230 it got really weird, and although I wanted to find out how it ended, I really didn't like it.

This reminded me of a bad "Lifetime made for TV movie."
Beth Gabor
I loved this book! It was so much fun! It is indeed a love story, similar to Chocolat, but the real love story isnt between the two you would suspect. Pick this book up when you want something light and fun and you need a good chuckle.
This was a really enjoyable book. I found myself literally laughing out loud at parts. I listened to the audiobook (unabridged, of course) and thought the narrator was really great - definitely added to the character of the book.
My favorite book this year because I laughed out loud, I cried, and I want to go live with the characters. A very fun, quick read. Thanks for recommending it Karen!
Mary Catherine
Blend a peaceful countryside, understanding people, problems and a little mystery and you have a great book to curl up with and want to finish in one sitting.
This was a lovely escape read that make me laugh and cry!!
I think it would be a fabulous movie reminiscent of Waking Ned Devine.
Chris Levernier
Excellent! There are truly good people in the world!!!
Set in County Cork Ireland in Coolarney House, where some of the world's foremost farmhouse cheese is produced. It has been owned and operated for generations by two families, the Corrigans, who supply the cows for the milk and the Feehans, who supply the cheesemaking ability. The last two denizens of these families, both named Joseph, are getting up there in years and need someone, preferably family to take over the operations of the farmhouse. Their cheeses are known throughout the world, a fa ...more
Beth Peninger
I was drawn to this book by the author's use of a food to bring a story to life. It worked. I love when an author can take something like cheese, and the art of making good cheese, and use it to bring life, healing, and hope to a situation. It is true that when someone loves creating something - whether that be cheese or something else - the passion they have for it infuses their life and the lives of those who come into contact with them.
Abbey and Kit both need some saving and both are led, th
Throughout the book I kept thinking... I don't really care for this book. I felt like it just didn't mesh well. It seemed like Lynch was reaching from all different corners of her creative mind to come up with these circumstances for her characters. HOWEVER, with that said... she brought it all together in the end nicely. I am not sure if I care for her writing style. I feel like there were so many good pieces of her story and such a good basic underlying idea for the plot and just wasn't execut ...more
I am reading this a second time and find it as good a read as the first go-through. It takes place in Ireland on a dairy farm primarily, with a little action set in New York City and a South Pacific island. Two elderly Irish cheesemakers, Corrie and Fee, carry on an old fine cheese business. Their customers pay top dollar for their special blue cheese and other types, each given a fanciful name. Corrie and Fee insist on having their cows milked twice a day to The Sound of Music songs by young wo ...more
Patty Marvel
WOW, did this novel disappoint. I got the audiobook from the library because the title intrigued me and I know I had heard it somewhere before (FYI, this book has NOTHING to do with Monty Python's "Life of Brian"). While I'm all for quirky stories with quirky characters - I am a fan of Christopher Moore's work, after all - there were moments in this story I was reminded of the old saying, "I am willing to suspend my disbelief, but not by the neck until dead."*

The title characters are Joseph Corr
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Sarah-Kate Lynch is quite a cranky journalist of several decades who prefers making things up to recording them accurately. This is not very good if you are a journalist, which may explain (a) the crankiness and (b) why she now writes novels.

She also writes two columns in the New Zealand Woman's Day, New Zealand's best-selling weekly magazine. One is about nothing and the other is about travel.

More about Sarah-Kate Lynch...
The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners Dolci di Love House of Daughters By Bread Alone On Top of Everything

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