3.5 of 5 Stars
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.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*