"You can always start again," Kate Robinson's mother once told her, "all it takes is a new thread." Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling twenty-six-year-old fashion designer follows her mother's advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself. When she arrives on the west coast, in the fading seaside hamlet of Glenmara, Kate quickly develops a bond with members of the local lace-making society: recently widowed Bernie; Aileen, estranged from her teenage daughter; Moira, caught in an abusive relationship; Oona, bearing the scars of breast cancer; and Colleen, worried about her fisherman husband, lost at sea. Under Glenmara's spell, Kate finds the inspiration that has eluded her, and soon she and the lace makers are creating a line of exquisite lingerie. The circle also offers them something more: the strength to face long-denied desires and fears. But not everyone welcomes Kate, and a series of unexpected events threatens to unravel everything the women have worked so hard for. . . .