Yay or Nay: The Lace Makers of Glenmara Book Review

The Lacemakers of Glenmara will make you feel at home.

“You never know who might come down the road” - Bernie Cullen

Author: Heather Barbieri
Publisher: Haper Perennial | June 2010
Contemporary Fiction

This is a non-sponsored, spoiler-free review of The Lace Makers of Glenmara.



The Lacemakers of Glenmara follows the story of Kate Robinson, a fashion designer, and her journey to self-discovery.

After a terrible break-up, she sets out to Ireland, the home her family left. She wanted an adventure that will help her forget the multitude of problems that she has in the city.

As she hops from one tourist destination to another, she stumbles across a little town called Glenmara. It was quiet, peaceful, and brimming with fascinating Irish culture. It was as if destiny wanted her to stay in the place because she discovered that the next bus that would stop by in town would come after a week.

Left with no choice, she rents out a room and starts getting to know the people around her. She learns about the hardships that the people face. She becomes acquainted with a small group of lace makers and uses her knowledge and talents to help them grow their business.

In the short week that Kate spent in Glenmara, she finds a home. But, homes are not all happiness and joy. There are problems she needs to overcome, people she must understand, and a heart she learns to love.


The Lacemakers of Glenmara is not one of the more popular literary works today. In fact, I have never heard of the author before I came across this book.

I found my copy at a thrift shop and picked it up because I was intrigued by the plot summary. There seemed to be a lot of things going on. When I started reading, I was expecting a lot of action. But, what I read was the complete opposite - I felt like I was coming home.

The setting: 4 stars

The story was set in the fictional town of Glenmara. The name and the place may have been unreal, but it perfectly displayed the beautiful Irish culture.

I didn't know much about the Irish before I started the book, but I ended up doing research about the country and their lifestyle as I was reading. This was not because the author was not able to portray it well, but because I was genuinely fascinated by it and wanted to know more. 

The description of the countryside made me feel the cool fresh air. The hospitality of the locals and tight-knit relationships of families reminded me of home. Much like the characters in the book, I did not want to leave.

The characters: 2 stars

The characters were, frankly, basic and cliche. These are the very same characters that appear in every chick lit - a girl, a potential lover, and an elder who will guide the protagonist to becoming her own person.

What made me like them were the lessons that they imparted. As a person who lives in the big city, I loved reading about the wisdom of people who led simple lives. 

The plot: 3 stars

The plot was slow, but not boring. Predictable, but still quite exciting. Any reader would want to keep on turning the page to know what happens next, although the problems involved were very simple.

The writing: 3 stars

There was nothing spectacular and unique about the way Heather Barbieri wrote this story. It was simple and straightforward. 

It is very easy to understand and I wouldn't be surprised if readers can finish this book in one sitting. It can definitely make for a perfect summer read.

The ending: 3 stars

The story's resolution was exactly what I expected. It was exactly the ending that I wanted, so I ended the book on a happy note. 

THE VERDICT: YAY! 3 stars!

There was nothing stellar about this book that will make it stand out from other romance novels, but it is definitely worth your time. The love, friendships, and sorrows that you will experience with the characters is enough to make you want to keep reading. 

As for me, an adventure-seeker and traveler, it definitely sparked my wanderlust. I want to visit Ireland and experience the culture for myself. I want to meet the people, make friends, and experience their way of life, just like what Kate Robinson did.

Time to save up for a ticket, I guess.

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