Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Lacemakers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri (41/2)

"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 of Glenmara. In this charming, fading Gaelic village, Kate quickly develops a bond with members of the local lace-making society: Bernie, alone and yearning for a new purpose since the death of her beloved husband, John; Aileen, plagued by doubt, helplessly watching her teenage daughter grow distant; Moira, caught in a cycle of abuse and denial, stubbornly refusing help from those closest to her; Oona, in remission from breast cancer, secretly harboring misgivings about her marriage; Colleen, the leader of the group, worried about her fisherman husband, missing at sea. And outside this newfound circle is local artist Sullivan Deane, an enigmatic man trying to overcome a tragedy of his own.

Under Glenmara's spell, Kate finds the inspiration that has eluded her, and soon she and the lace makers are creating a line of exquisite lingerie. In their skilled hands, flowers, Celtic dragons, nymphs, fish, saints, kings, and queens come to life, rendered with painterly skill. The circle also offers them something more—the strength to face their long-denied desires and fears. But not everyone welcomes Kate, and a series of unexpected events threatens to unravel everything the women have worked so hard for. . . .

I purchased this book because: My Book Club choice for this month of August

Opening Lines: What you will need: A sewing machine, your mother's, yes, the sky-blue Singer, its hum a lullaby from infancy, you in a Moses basket at her feet, grabbing at bright threads.

Well I finished this book off in one sitting ... I really loved it ... Was it because I loved the sense of humour in the book or just that it was set in Ireland and got abit homesick when reading about the rolling green hills and the slanty rain which you can only get in Ireland. :) .... or for the fact that as a child my own grandmother and mother would sit me on their knee and teach me to sew .

I made so many post-it notes in my copy of the book especially at the beginning it was getting ridiculous .... I could so picture Kate walking along ( My mom would be proud I didn't use the word DOWN ... lol ) the country lanes .... I could picture the cliffs and the beautiful sea .... I could sympathise with the fishing community especially a wee country town as I came from one just like it .... How everyone knew everyone else and had a special bond that you can only get from a small village .... People are so invested in each others lifes and it just feels like home ....

The friendships between all the lace making woman is lovely and you do get caught up in their world ... It is lovely to see that link of friendship and love as no age boundaries ... Everyone no matter how small as a part to play and something to give ... Denny and Niall where really funny characters and I did find myself chuckling when their banter was in full flow ...

I really loved this wee book .... The story line was nice .... The characters where lovely and I could identify with them ... There was a wee bit of romance with the dashing Sullivan .... And some really funny parts that did have me laughing out loud .... Alot ...

Favourite Quotes: 'Pincushion, apple-shapped, with a felt stem, to keep pins from getting lost. pg 1 ( love this because my grandmother had one just like it ..)

'She couldn't stop thinkin about him, imagined making arguments far more winning than was capable of in real life.' Pg 6

'Each step she took left a mark, some visible, some not; marks that said, I was here, I exist. That was one of the reasons people went away, wasn't it, to forget, to reinvent themselves?' Pg 7

'To Ireland. Land of her ancestors, land of the green, of rainbows and magic and pots of gold.' pg 11

'You're too young to give in to disappointment. The joy will come again, and when it does, it will be all the better because of what you've suffered. Love is life, you know.' pg 17

'They were like family, Aileen said, without the excess baggage.' pg 26

'Don't believe everything you hear about the Irish,' Denny said. 'We're full of contradictions' pg 41

'I see you've already met the Glenmara welcoming committee .... The COOFs ... What does that stand for? .... A couple of old farts,' pg 42

''Last time she'd tried rock-climbing at the Vertical Club in Seattle with Ella. How come you look like a dominatrix in that harness, and I just look like an idiot? She's asked, laughing so hard she'd turned upside down and had to be lowered to the ground on a cable.' Pg 57

'I was just thinking how funny life is. Seems like the more you want something, the more it eludes you. Then when you least expect it, there it is.' Pg 146

'He said she was his figurehead, that he could always see her when he rounded the bend and entered the bay. No different from that first day long ago, her brown hair gleaming in the sun, gone silver now. Her face lined, but as beautiful to him as ever. His constant, she was.' Pg 168 AHHHHHH

'That even though we lose the ones we've loved, they aren't gone from us forever, that they are with us, still, but in a different way.' Pg 235

This is a lovely wee read about friendships, loss and finding each other .....

I rate this book 4 1/2 ****

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