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Lynch, Sarah-Kate

LYNCH, Sarah-Kate

PERSONAL:

Female; married.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Queenstown, New Zealand. Office—Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

CAREER:

Journalist, editor, and author. Journalist for magazines and radio stations in New Zealand, Sydney, Australia, and London, England, for over twenty years. Also worked as cheesemaker.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Finding Tom Connor, 2001.

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, Black Swan, 2002, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2003.

By Bread Alone, Black Swan, 2003, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.

NONFICTION

Stuff If: A Wicked Approach to Dieting, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

The Modern Girl's Guide to Life, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.

ADAPTATIONS:

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers was recorded on audiocassette and released by HighBridge Audio, 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

After working for twenty years as a journalist, New Zealand-based Sarah-Kate Lynch focused much of her attention on writing fiction. Inspired by her stint as a newspaper food writer and her parents' Irish roots, Lynch wrote her novel Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, which was praised by critics for its sense of humor and unique characters. Of Lynch's novels, Margie Thomson of the New Zealand Herald noted, "Lynch is a distinctive voice at the quality end of the popular-fiction genre."

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers focuses on two world-famous cheesemakers, Joseph Corrigan and Joseph Feehan, their unusual dairy farm in County Cork, Ireland, and their quest to find their replacements as master cheesemakers as they reach retirement. Corrigan reconnects with his beloved long-lost granddaughter, Abbey. A desperate, lost American named Kit Stephens, also finds his way to the farm. Through twists and turns, Stephens and Abbey fall in love and prepare to take over the farm. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the novel tender, and commented positively on the many details Lynch included, such as the cheesemaking process. While Guardian Unlimited critic Helen Falconer found the novel "bland," she also noted "several moments when Lynch demonstrates a quirky, silly sense of humour suggestive of future promise—a whiff of something less homogenised." Shannon Bloomstran of Mostly Fiction thought Blessed Are the Cheesemakers was "sweet" but "predictable," with "charming" and "eccentric" characters who were "more than a little overdrawn."

Lynch's next novel is also about food, By Bread Alone. The plot centers on Esme, a breadbaker who makes a delicious sourdough. Esme lives with her husband, architect Pog, and their son, Rory. In the course of the novel, the family moves from London to Sussex to live in a six-story home, the House in the Clouds, where they deal with past problems that continue to cause sadness in their lives. Esme misses her old life, especially a former love interest who could be reentering her life. Thomson of the New Zealand Herald found Lynch's descriptions to be forced at times, but praised her plotting and ability to maintain tension in the story. In the end, Thomson called the book "strangely satisfying."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, p. 706.

Library Journal, November 1, 2003, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, p. 138.

Publishers Weekly, May 26, 2003, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, p. 138.

Variety, February 11, 2002, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, p. 16.

ONLINE

Bookloons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (October 31, 2003), Hilary Williamson, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers.

Guardian Unlimited,http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (October 31, 2003), Helen Falconer, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers.

Mostly Fiction,http://mostlyfiction.com/ (October 31, 2003), Shannon Bloomstran, review of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers.

New Zealand Herald,http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ (February 26, 2004), Margie Thomson, review of By Bread Alone. *

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