I've been reading a lot of vampire books lately and watching a lot of it on television (I think I'm the only person in America to have never seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer until two months ago) so when the chance to review The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri came along, I jumped at the chance. It would make a nice change of pace from all the biting.
The Lace Makers of Glenmara is a lovely read. It's the story of Kate, a 26 year-old woman fleeing a broken relationship in Seattle, traveling to Ireland to keep a promise she made to her mother to visit her homeland. She winds up in Glenmara and meets several women there who are lace makers, holding up the tradition of home-made Irish lace in the face of cheap knockoffs and foreign competition.
One of the women, Bernie, takes Kate in and brings Kate into her circle of lace makers. As Kate is accepted by these women, she learns their stories while being taught their art. She discovers that friendship can come in many guises and that lessons can be learned from even the most prickly of characters.
Of course there is a love angle to this story but what really spoke to me was the stories of friendship between each woman, how essential that is to all of us, how those friendships satisfy a need we all have. This book illustrated that beatifully and while the love story is fun and well-crafted, it is the women who move the book along and have the most interesting story lines.
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