The Cottage At Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri

Title:  The Cottage At Glass Beach

Author:  Heather Barbieri

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  May 2012 – Harper

About:  Wanting to flee the humiliating mess brought on by her husband’s infidelity Nora Keane goes home with her two daughters to Burke’s Island, Maine after receiving an invitation from an aunt.

My take:  I loved the setting, Nora, her daughters, and the people of Burke’s Island. I also loved the fairytale-like tone of the novel – even though I wish that aspect had been developed a bit more. In going home Nora is able to discover things about her past as well as come to know her aunt. She also finds that some people on the island aren’t thrilled by her visit. Add some family secrets and a mysterious character or two to the mix and you’ve got an intriguing novel.

I appreciated how the author showed how the two daughters worked through/expressed their feelings about their parents’ separation. And Nora needed to figure out what to do now that papers had been filed. She truly seemed adrift – which all seemed like an honest portrayal of a woman and her daughters – given their situation.

I’ve had some time to think about The Cottage at Glass Beach since I finished reading it. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the vague ending but after some reflection I decided it’s true to life. Much of our future is uncertain but we can continue to focus on what matters most.

Source:  Harper

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri

The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri: Book Cover

I’ve been to Ireland a couple of times and after reading The Lace Makers of Glenmara I really want to go again. I so enjoyed my time spent reading this book. Heather Barbieri wrote an engaging story about people dealing with loss and trying to go on with their lives.

Kate, a young American woman of Irish descent, has travelled from Seattle to Ireland. One day she misses her bus and winds up walking. She takes a ride from a kind stranger who drops her at the road leading to Glenmara. She meets some friendly people in the village who invite her to stay and learn how to make lace. From that point on the world becomes a bit larger for the ladies who dare to try something new and Kate finds a place where people won’t leave her.

Kate stays with Bernie, a 50-something widow whose husband died a year earlier. Over a cup of tea one evening Kate says to Bernie “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.” This is a theme of the story. I liked seeing both small and big changes happen in the characters’ lives – changes that some didn’t even know they wanted.

A lovely book has found a home on my “keeper shelf” and I’ve added another title to my 2009 favorites list. I recommend The Lace Makers of Glenmara to fans of Women’s Fiction and anyone who enjoys an enchanting novel.

My thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy.

For Staci’s review, visit Life in the Thumb