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Abbey is a 29 year-old relief worker who has just left her husband on the remote island where he'd been "sexing" the villagers. Kit is a recently-fired New York executive and widow who mourns the loss of his wife and unborn child with alcohol and cocaine.

While Kit and Abbey struggle on separate sides of the globe, a bit of magic is happening in County Cork, Ireland. Coolarney House, known for its prized cheese is run by two old codgers and a handful of misfit pregnant milkmaids. Corrie and Fee are known for their Princess Grace Memorial Blue and other cheeses made the same way for decades.

A series of coincidences brings Kit and Abbey to Coolarney House and just in time. The cheese has lost its perfection. Corrie and Fee believe Abbey and Kit are two wounded souls whose union could restore the cheese to its pristine condition. The magic that conspires is detailed in Blessed are the Cheesemakers.

Sarah-Kate Lynch's debut novel is reminiscent of past works written around the mystical power of food. This time it's cheese that has a hold on the resident of Coolarney House.

Readers should enjoy the humor and spirit or Corrie and Fee, stubbornly locked in their old Irish ways. It takes half of the book to get the major characters together in Ireland, but the wait is entertaining.

Kit and Abbey's love story separates like curd from whey. The magic of their union is forced. The dead wife Kit heavily mourns is not the same woman created by Lynch. Kit's and Abbey's actions and reactions are strained and hurried in an attempt to fit the charming Irish setting.

The quirky Coolarney House is what works best in Blessed are the Cheesemakers. The delicate art of creating cheese is compared to the life's stages and hurdles. Overall, Lynch captures elements of fantasy, faith and hope in her debut novel.

Blessed are the Cheesemakers
By Sarah Kate Lynch
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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