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The Lace Makers of Glenmara

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  4,569 Ratings  ·  741 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.

She arrives on the west coast, in the seaside hamlet
Paperback, 270 pages
Published 2009
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joyce g
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, sadness coupled with joy and hope.
Jan 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ireland
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
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!
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Caroline Niziol
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jo (Bloomin'Chick)
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.
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jul 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
extraordinary ordinary whimsy
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Sep 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 -
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful story. More than just the main charachter, Kate. More than just the beautiful town of Glenmara. It's all about change, growth, loving what's old and finding what's new. Such a good, good story...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Downs
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want to go to Ireland, fall in love and eat warm scones and learn to make lace...this book is for you.
Valerie Campbell Ackroyd
Entertaining, charming, full of Ireland

I enjoyed this story of an Irish American girl who stumbles across an Irish village, makes friends with a group of women there, learns to make lace, falls in love. It could be classified as a romance but it is a little more than that. Parts of it reminded me of the novel “Chocolat,” with the storyline of the village priest’s antipathy toward the American interloper. But instead of the “sin” being chocolate, in this case it is lace underwear. And speaking of
Ann Meighan
This is a sweet story if you are of Irish heritage. However, it over uses stereotypical clichés. The story itself leaves a lot to be desired.
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jun 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Margo Brooks
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, needlework
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
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Carol Rogers
Mar 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mod-lit
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
Kelly (TheWellReadRedhead)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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

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“So you're a reader of books - and people?” 2 likes
“...but destiny had a number of tricks up her sleeve, didn't she, both joyful and tragic?” 1 likes
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