Review: The Ruins of Lace

In the book, The Ruins of Lace, by Iris Anthony, there was a new concept to me in the fact that I did not realize that lace had been a prohibited item in France, prohibited by the king in the 17th Century.

That was the only point of interest I found in the novel, aside from lace-making.  I did enjoy reading about how lace was made, and the intricacies of it. The fine details the author illuminated regarding creating lace were well-written, and were depicted with excellent word-imagery, albeit repetitious.

The rest of the story was more of a novel regarding varied individuals and their inadequacies, failings, life situations, forced labor, etc., within the harsh environment of the 17th Century.  Yes, there was some historical information, but not enough for me to consider it a worthy historical read.  I read a lot of repetition, regarding the lace, and I understand that it was a detailed creation, but concerning the chapters in which the creation was depicted, it was routine, the same rote over and over.

The varied characters portrayed, did not seem to have much substance, and that was a negative for me.  I like to get into a book, like the characters to have some sense of substance and depth.  Their seven viewpoints did not really create emotion in me, or create sympathy for their circumstance, even as individuals.

Iris Anthony did succeed in her word-paintings, with some lovely prose.  Overall, I was disappointed, and felt the story line was quite thin. My opinions might differ from yours, though.

I read this for the second time, for a book club.

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