Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

by:  Iris Anthony
publisher:  Sourcebooks
publish date:  October 2, 2012

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.

My history was a little bit rusty.  I had no idea that lace had been outlawed in France in the 1600s.  The Ruins of Lace was a little bit of a history lesson for me.  The one thing the book didn't really explain was WHY lace had been outlawed.  A little bit of internet exploration gave me the answer.  Bottom line, it had to do with only having nobility showing off their wealth and no one else.  Google Sumtuary Laws for more explanations and other places where lace was outlawed, including the early American Colonies.

On to this particular book, The Ruins of Lace is told from many viewpoints, from the people wanting the lace, to the lacemaker, to the lace smugglers.  At times I felt like there were too many viewpoints and storylines to keep track of, but it really did help give an overall picture of what was really going on at the time.  My favorite character and viewpoint was the dog.  I loved that idea of telling the story from the eyes of the lace smuggling dog. 

As a somewhat crafty person, I could really appreciate the craft of lacemaking and my heart really went out to the lacemakers.  Their conditions as described in the book must have been madness inducing.  However, reading the book also made me want to look into how to make Flemish Bobbin Lace. 

I really liked this story and I think it will appeal to a large audience.  I'll definitely be recommending this book to the historical fiction fans and the needleworkers in my life.


Chel said...

I rarely read books with multiple POV's but I think it's really interesting that one of the POV's is of a dog's. I hadn't heard of this book until now so thanks for putting this on my radar, Kari!

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

I quite like books with multiple POV's; how interesting that there is even a POV of a dog. This book caught my eyes because of the gorgeous cover! Great review :)

Carole said...

Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

Cass said...

Wow, I didn't know that lace was outlawed either! I've been seeing a bit of this title, definitely interested to read it for myself. Nice review.

Autumn said...

Thanks everyone! This was a really interesting book. I generally don't like a whole lot of POVs because it can get confusing, but it was pretty straightforward in this book.