Friday, September 28, 2012

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

Lace is a thing like hope.
It is beauty; it is grace.
It was never meant to destroy so many lives .

The mad passion for forbidden lace has infiltrated France,
pulling soldier and courtier alike into its web. For those who want the best, Flemish lace is the only choice, an exquisite perfection of thread and air. For those who want something they don’t have, Flemish lace can buy almost anything––or anyone.

For Lisette, lace begins her downfall, and the only way to atone for her sins is to outwit the noble who now demands the impossible. To fail means certain destruction. But for Katharina, lace is her salvation. It is who she is; it is what she does. If she cannot make this stunning tempest of threads, a dreaded fate awaits.

The most lucrative contraband in Europe, with its intricate patterns and ephemeral hope, threatens to cost them everything. Lace may be the deliverance for which they all pray...or it may bring the ruin and imprisonment they all fear.

A fascinating look into a part of history we don’t usually see represented in fiction, this book will captivate any lover of historical fiction.
The most exciting part of this book is the careful melding of multiple storylines. This is never an easy thing for an author to achieve and even less so when dealing with a period in time so far removed from our own. The author is very clever in handling the many plot lines, making them straight-forward enough so that they don’t knot with one another. I do wish some of the characters’ lives had been resolved a bit more than they were, however, because the author leaves one or two of them dangling.

The writing is beautiful. It’s by turns lush and sparse, modeling after the lace one of the characters shapes with her bobbins. I do have to warn, though, about one of the storylines, which is told through a dog’s eyes who lives through abuse. As an absolute animal lover, this was almost impossible for me to read, so if you have a sensitivity towards reading about animal abuse, I’d caution you to pick out another book. I hate to tell people not to read a particular novel, but it really was a hard few chapters following the dog’s journey.

Other than that, though, I do think this book is worth reading. If you’re interested, look for it in October.

1 comment:

Luzia Narvz said...

If you like historical novels you should like this one. However, the first several chapters must be overcome in order to understand the unusual manner it was written.

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