On Saturday last I met up with new Wexford writer Sheila Forsey, prior to the launch of her debut novel Mending Lace on Friday October 20 at 7pm at the Wexford Book Centre.
Mending Lace will be launched by award-winning author Carmel Harrington and is an emotive tale about mending a broken life.
Over coffee and scones Sheila told me how the idea for Mending Lace came to her as she sat in a cafe in Kilkenny towards the end of that most frantic time in Ireland known as the Celtic Tiger. Sheila, who was as much caught up in its roar as the rest of us had no idea at the time that the merry-go-round was about to come crashing down as this very suave, sophisticated man in an expensive suit sat down beside and seemed to be under considerable stress.
His phone rang and although not wanting to eavesdrop, Sheila couldn't help hearing the words liquidation and receivership. The man - a complete stranger - ended the call and looked straight at her and said 'It's over, it's all f***ing over' and got up and left.
'That was it, that was the first time that I had any indication that the demise of the Celtic Tiger was imminent,' Sheila said. 'But the memory of that encounter stayed with me and became the catalyst for Mending Lace.'
I love the title and it seems to suit the author very well so I asked her how she chose it and Sheila had another story for me about her mother's wedding dress, a vintage lace creation that herself and her siblings played dress up with as children, but considered it too old and too frayed in places to wear herself on her own wedding day.
Sometime later, Sheila attended a wedding dress fundraiser and was admiring one particularly beautiful vintage dress only to be told that it had been donated by her own mother.
Mending Lace is the story of how with enough love, care and attention anything can be mended, even a broken life.
Need I say more about this beautifully written novel except go out and buy it.