The Lace Weaver by Lauren Chater – book review

I first came across Lauren Chater through her cookie-themed book reviews at The Well Read Cookie and started following her writing journey. I was mildly envious when she went on a research trip to Estonia, excited when I heard that her historical novel The Lace Weaver was accepted for publication, and thrilled when I received a copy for review.

This is the blurb:

“Each lace shawl begins and ends the same way – with a circle. Everything is connected with a thread as fine as gossamer, each life affected by what has come before it and what will come after.

1941, Estonia. As Stalin’s brutal Red Army crushes everything in its path, Katarina and her family survive only because their precious farm produce is needed to feed the occupying forces.

Fiercely partisan, Katarina battles to protect her grandmother’s precious legacy – the weaving of gossamer lace shawls stitched with intricate patterns that tell the stories passed down through generations.

While Katarina struggles to survive the daily oppression, another young woman is suffocating in her prison of privilege in Moscow. Yearning for freedom and to discover her beloved mother’s Baltic heritage, Lydia escapes to Estonia.

Facing the threat of invasion by Hitler’s encroaching Third Reich, Katarina and Lydia and two idealistic young soldiers, insurgents in the battle for their homeland, find themselves in a fight for life, liberty and love.”

A moving and evocative tale of war and woe, love and betrayal, fighting for rights and acceptance of the status quo, loss and hope, it’s set in Estonia during WWII. The stories of two young women are deftly woven together, creating a rich, layered and memorable tale. There’s heart-breaking conflict and heart-warming hope – and for me, that’s a winning combo.

The Lace Weaver is published by Simon & Schuster Australia and is available now from good bookshops and online.

Monique Mulligan
For more of Monique Mulligan’s writing on books, check out Write Note Reviews

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