The Ruins of Lace is a book to be treasured!

From a writer whose work has been called “unexpected, haunting, and powerful,” The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony (Sourcebooks Landmark; ON-SALE October 16; 9781402268038; $14.99 U.S.; Trade Paperback; Fiction) is an enthralling novel centered on the very real, mad French passion for forbidden Flemish bobbin lace in the 1600s.

The Ruins of Lace reveals the extreme desire for forbidden lace that pulled soldier and courtier alike into its web. It’s told by sharing the points of view of seven different characters. Some are strangers and will never meet, but they will all ultimately affect the outcome of each other’s lives.

My review

Katharina has spent her whole life making lace. It is the only thing she knows. Without it, she will be lost. This is why; Katharina can not let the nuns know that she is almost blind. Because if the nuns where to learns Katharina’s secret then Katharina would be thrown out on the streets.

Lisette is in love. Although, Lisette is about to learn the true cost of love. The Count is obsessed with lace. He wants it and will do anything in his powers to get it.

I have had a history with historical and historical romance novels. On one hand, I enjoy reading about the history of the story that I am reading and if done right the romance can help between the two characters however; on the other hand after a while, I grow bored of the history and details. I am happy to report that was not the case at all with this book. Instantly, I was attracted to the characters. They had heart, depth, and made you feel for them.

Each character had their own voice. It was intriguing to read how important lace was to each of them and how it affected them as well. While, I have never owned an exquisite piece of lace, after reading this book, I will not look at it again the same way. All the history, hours, and labor of love spent in making a piece of lace is amazing. The love story in this book is a tragic one. The Ruins of Lace is a book to be treasured!


v Lisette Lefort: When Lisette was seven years old, she ruined a priceless lace cuff that was owned by The Count of Montreau. It was a mistake that would haunt her family for many years.

v The Count of Montreau: Drowning in gambling debt, struggling with his desires towards men and the disappointment of his father, the Count will go to any lengths to make sure he gains his inheritance.

v Alexandre Lefort: His love for Lisette will drive him to travel across borders to find the coveted piece of lace that will ultimately free the love of his life.

v Katharina Martens: Katharina has lived in a convent for twenty-five years, where she was trained to make beautiful and highly coveted lace, and is considered the best. Now her eyesight has begun to fail, and it’s only a matter of how long she can hide it.

v Heilwich Martens: As Katharina’s older sister, she has been trying to pay for her sister’s release for years but keeps coming up short. How far will she go to earn the money she needs to save her sister?

v Denis Boulanger: Denis has been struggling as a border patrol officer and can’t seem to find any of the forbidden lace being smuggled into France. He has searched loaves of bread, coffins, and dogs… Will an accidental meeting with a stranger be the biggest break of his career?

v : Used to smuggle lace into France, dogs paid the biggest price. Le chien’s best friend was killed, and he’s caught between two masters—one loving and one terribly abusive. He longs for freedom from the “bad master,” but first must succeed in his most important mission yet.

Iris Anthony’s research brings us a stunningly fascinating novel about corruption, lies, and the true value of what it means to be human. Fortunes were ruined, estates destroyed, and women were driven blind before thirty by making the lace in near darkness. Importing foreign lace into France triggered a network of lace smuggling that thrived on hollow loaves of bread, coffins, and dogs. That such frippery could produce such consequences is tragic and mesmerizing.


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