The Ruins of Lace
by Iris AnthonyPublished by: Sourcebooks Landmark Publish Date: October 1, 2012 Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction Source: ARC provided for review from Publisher My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
The Ruins of Lace is a turn from what I generally read (romance), but this book piqued my interest and I had to give it a try.
With a cast of divergent characters in various levels of social standing, all united by forbidden lace, Iris Anthony has weaved together an intricate and intelligent novel.
There is so much to The Ruins of Lace that makes it a unique novel. The story is told from multiple viewpoints and characters who seemingly have little to do with each other. The central theme is lace, a very special, high quality, much-coveted lace that has been forbidden in France. Certain people and characters will do just about anything to obtain the lucrative lace, and for some of the characters in this book, the lace is their downfall.
Because of the multiple viewpoints and characters, the pacing is quite slow, especially in the beginning. The characters are slowly introduced and their connections to other characters is not clear. As the story progresses, threads begin to connect and the story pieces together. So, despite the slow nature, as the story came together, I found myself really enjoying the book. I appreciate how intricate this book is, and how the story parallels the lace that is central to the novel.
This book is one that left me thinking. When I finished the last page, I was unsure how I felt about what I had just read. I enjoyed the story and how everything pieced together, but I felt that there were a few threads left open. I think that the author may have intended this type of ending to let readers draw their own conclusions, but I would have liked a bit more completeness. As I said, I am used to reading romance books, and I like my endings to have definite conclusions. However, I will say that overall, I was very pleased with this book. I like branching out from my go-to genre on occasion, and I was not disappointed with The Ruins of Lace.
The Ruins of Lace is a distinctively unique novel that I would suggest for readers of historical or literary fiction.
The Ruins of Lace releases in early October. You can find it at: