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Blessed Are the Cheesemakers Paperback – October 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the spirit of Chocolat, Lynch's debut novel is a tender love story told through the medium of food, in this case cheese. In County Cork, Ireland, Joseph Corrigan and Joseph Feehan, better known as Corrie and Fee, are the aging manufacturers of world-renowned Coolarney Blue. Their chief worry is a conspicuous lack of successors, and the narrative chronicles the solution to their quest in the unlikely but fated convergence of two characters. Abbey Corrigan, granddaughter of worrywart Corrie, who hasn't seen her in 24 years, sits abandoned on the Pacific Island Ate'ate while her irrigation-obsessed and hypercritical husband gets biblical with the natives. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Kit Stephens is a burned-out stockbroker and despondent alcoholic, heartbroken by the recent departure of his wife and now fired from his job. In a series of fantastic coincidences, the two end up at the Coolarney factory, a meeting that will forever change their lives and the future of cheese. In an engaging and humorous style, Lynch details the cheesemaking process (sun, rain, a salty sea breeze and of course, grass, are the essential ingredients, along with constant music and a secret mold), and enlivens the narrative with eccentric, loquacious and comical characters, including three ginger cats named Jesus, Mary and All the Saints. The pace of this heartwarming novel is brisk, and the background detail so colorful that the reader will henceforth eat cheese with a new appreciation for its magical properties. Optioned by Working Title Films.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This sensuous and celebratory first novel is luscious in every way imaginable, a book to dip into eagerly and consume with much gusto. It is the story of two emotionally damaged people whom fate has dropped on a small cheese-making farm in Ireland. Kit Stephens' fast track in New York City has quite suddenly screeched to a halt, and friends have sent him to Ireland to make sense of his life. Abbey Corrigan is lost when her marriage to a not-so-good-doer on a tropical island has left her with no place to go but her barely remembered grandfather's cheese farm. In a story and style reminiscent of Steven Nightingale or Tom Robbins, the cheese and the cosmos and a cheese maker named Fee conspire to bring these two saddened souls to a storybook ending. Where other writers might overdo the magic realism or fairy-tale aspects of such an unfolding, Lynch proves to be gentle handed. This novel is a delight. Debi Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446693014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446693011
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah-Kate Lynch ran away from home when she was three to find her favourite ice cream store and has pretty much been doing the same thing ever since although now she writes about finding it, or not. Her novels savour Irish cheese, French champagne, Italian cookies and New York City honey, among other things - not the least of them being love and friendship. She lives some of the time on the wild west coast of New Zealand with her husband, the Ginger, and her dog, Ted. The rest of the time she trots the globe writing travel stories for Woman's Day magazine. You can visit her website at www.sarah-katelynch.com or go to Sarah-Kate Lynch - Writer on Facebook for more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Blessed are the Cheesemakers" was favorably compared to "Chocolat", one of my all time favorite books, as well to books by Maeve Binchy, an author whom I adore. Unfortunately, with high expectations like these, I couldn't help but be disappointed when this novel fell far short of both comparisons.

The story was disjointed, but the ideas were there and were excellent. Additionally, the beginnings of the characters were interesting, but they seemed to never become fully developed. I agree with the reviewer who felt this book was crying for an editor. I think that's an excellent point !

All of this said, it's a sweet book. I would not recommend it highly, but it's a nice, if not thought-provoking read. I had just hoped for "more", with such promise in plot, characters and locations.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a delightful tale of those who need emotional and physcial healing, and the wonderful dairy farm and its inhabitants (some of whom are quite kooky) who provide it. The characters in this book are wonderfully written. The descriptions of the cheeses make one's mouth water. At times during this book I found myself smiling, laughing, and, yes, even crying (sobbing to be honest). It is a fantastic story, very well written, and I highly, highly recommend it. Add another five stars if you love cheese!
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Format: Hardcover
In County Cork, Ireland, Joseph "Corrie" Corrigan and Joseph "Fee" Feehan produce the internationally famous Coolarney Blue cheese. However as the two Josephs age, they worry about their company's future. So they decide to embark on successor planning.
Corrie has not seen his granddaughter Abbey in almost a quarter of a century. Currently, she feels abandoned by her womanizing preacher of a spouse spouting the word to natives on a Pacific Island. She knows she needs a change of scenery from her locale and more from her ripping her skin for some alleged sin husband.
On an Atlantic island named Manhattan, alcoholic Kit Stephens has lost his way since his wife and child died. Recently he also loses his stockbroker position. He needs a change of scenery to start over. Fate enters the mix and soon Abbey and Kit meet at the Coolarney cheese factory.
This cheesy romance is amusing due mostly to the geezers, the cows, and the cats serving as interesting secondary characters. Abbey and Kit seems like nice people, but both sing the blues until they meet each other and see in the other a second chance. Throw in the magic of Eire leading to the audience singing along to the Sound of Music.
Harriet Klausner
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By sunny_peach on February 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book from our local library (it was recommened by one of the staff members) and I just loved it. It was a fast, easy read and full of great characters. It reminded me of those fun, quirky UK movies like "Waking Ned Devine" and "Local Hero." This is a feel-good book...kind of a fluffier version of Sue Kids,"The Secret Lives of Bees" (which is a fabulous book). I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a good escape.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm party of a cooking group in which we read books, cook according to the theme and then have Literary Luncheons.

I probably would not have read this book otherwise, but since I did, I might as well review it.

It's a nice summer read - very palatable. The characters are quirky, and yet the plot is predictable. Some of the concepts are funny and cute, others are a bit tiresome.

I loved the idea of having pregnant teens milking cows while singing show tunes, so the cows would give the best possible milk. Meanwhile, the teens are harbored and taken care of during their pregnancy and after the birth.

Parts of the storyline were psychologically improbable, but I guess not all books can be all good.

It's about love and cheese - if you like either of these, read it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the book and it's characters so much. In fact I am down to just a few pages...maybe 20 or so and I am only allowing myself to read one or two until one of her other books arrives in the mail.

This writer really knows how to create characters that make you smile the whole time you are reading about them. I really care about the people and will always wonder how they are doing. That is how real they seem to me.
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Format: Paperback
This is an off beat tale about a couple of folks searching for meaning in their lives. They end up at a cheesemaking farm with several unwed pregnant women. I thought this book would be deeper in meaning, instead I found it shallow with two horny people trying to hook up. The author uses the term "fecked" so many times it ceases to be cute. I did not get this novel at all.
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Format: Preloaded Digital Audio Player
This book is witty, quick and charming. It's no great intellectual piece, which is no insult. It is of another genera, containing lots of personality quirks and riddled with soap opera-like surprises. I love this book, and I love cheese!
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