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Blessed Are the Cheesemakers Paperback – October 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 61 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 (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Stanclift on September 28, 2006
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
(3.5 stars) Three stories come together in an Irish dairy farm. Corrie and Fee are the elderly cheesemakers, who are desperate to find the next generation before it is too late. Their operation is a labor of love, with many quirks, including pregnant, vegetarian milkmaids who milk to the Sound of Music. Abbey is the granddaughter who was taken away from the farm by her mother, and after marrying at a young age, she lives on a Pacific Island with her husband who is obsessed with irrigation. When she finds out that he has been "irrigating" other pastures after he found out she cannot have children, she is horrified and leaves with a friend to return to the U.K. and find her family. The third part involves Kit, a stockbroker whose life has devolved after the death of his wife and unborn baby. His assistant sends him off to Ireland to dry out and get sober. Kit unwittingly is drawn into the contest for the cheesemaker position and meets Abbey. They must find out if they have the touch to make a cheese worthy of Corrie and Fee. The cheese has a life and power of its own in the story and lends a charming taste of magical realism to the tale. The story has lots of humor including a pregnant cat called Jesus and other delightful quirks.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only have one word for this: quirky. Quirky isn't bad, it's just...different. The characters will definitely grow on you, fondly, and there are chuckles galore--I loved the Pregnasaurs--but there was a little bit of silly unbelieveability about this. Still, I enjoyed the setting and the aura of the mystical. And of course, you will learn a TON about cheese-making, which, being a fan of cheese, I found fascinating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is just so much fun! It is quirky - very! - and playful. The characters are believable and the story wraps around itself delightfully, keeping me engaged to the very end. A definite re-reader!
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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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