Jan 16, 10
Read in January, 2010
** spoiler alert **
Wow. This book was not good. Barbieri takes pretty much every stereotype about Ireland and the Irish and populates her story with them. There's the little village that time forgot, filled with quirky but adorable locals and an overbearing priest. There's the American with a tragic past who stumbles into their midst and is immediately treated like family (because the Irish are the friendliest people in the world, dontcha know?). There's the hunky but brooding love interest who can't open his heart due to a dark secret in his past. It is RIDICULOUS. All of it.
First of all, the heroine, Kate, is one of the worst-written protagonists I've ever encountered. She talks like she just stepped out of 1890, not contemporary Seattle. There's nothing modern or fashionable about her, and yet we're expected to believe she's this cutting edge fashion designer back home. Uh... sure. She has no ambition, no direction, absolutely nothing in her life that makes her interesting. She's perfectly happy to sit around Glenmara all day sewing lace with women twice her age and not thinking at all about what she's going to do with her future. Why would the reader care about her? Answer: they don't.
The love story is ridiculous and forced. I can't figure out why anyone would be attracted to Kate to begin with, but the "Quiet Man" rip off proceeds anyway. Some of the Glenmara ladies are likable enough and it is their cares and concerns that really propel the story, but the eventual conclusion to the book is so thoroughly preposterous that it just made me groan. Really? The lace underwear is SO spectacular that international news stations pick up the story and suddenly the product is in incredible demand all over the globe? Tourists pour into town dying to get a look at some freaking lace underwear? Are they aware that lace underwear is available at pretty much every mall in every city in the world? It's all so insulting to a reader's intelligence. This book was a huge disappointment.