The Lacemaker

Janine Montupet, Author Atheneum Books $0 (467p) ISBN 978-0-689-11814-2
A wealth of historical detail buttresses this novel set in the lacemaking capital of Alecon, France, during the mid-1600s. Gilonne Perdriel, daughter of a nobleman who will not acknowledge her and a young lacemaker who died soon after giving birth, is apprenticed at five to the trade that blinded her grandmother. While Gilonne and her friend Michanteau are locked away from the world learning the arduous steps involved in crocheting lace collars and flounces, the persecution of Protestants gathers deadly momentum with the blessing of the Catholic court of Louis XIV. At the height of this religious strife, the girls are freed to attempt to eke out a living. Beautiful Gilonne secretly marries a rich Protestant, but pines for Ogier, an arrogant servant from her father's estate who makes his fortune in New France and returns to Europe as a nobleman. When her husband is killed, Gilonne and Michanteau build a thriving lacemaking business aided by a clutch of eccentrics ranging from elderly, gossipy blind women to bickering artists. While the romance tends toward sugary excess and the prose is too often weighty and stiff, this French bestseller is ultimately as enticing and intricate as the gossamer lace it describes. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-345-36353-4
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