Lauren Chater’s debut novel The Lace Weaver is a page-turner that you will never forget. The novel showcases the story of two young women who are navigating through the trials and tribulations of war-torn Estonia. Katerina, a skilled lace weaver, strives to keep her Grandmother’s legacy alive, but this proves difficult when her focus turns to survival. Lydia has spent her life in cotton-wool surrounded by bodyguards in Moscow, she goes on a quest to her mother’s homeland of Estonia and finds herself amongst the chaos of war.
Once I started The Lace Weaver, it was impossible to put it down. If I didn’t need to sleep, I would have happily stayed up all night to finish it in one sitting. Chater’s debut is absolutely gripping, and through well-considered and thoughtful research, she’s able to depict what life would have been like for Estonian women during a time of fear and uncertainty. You almost feel drawn into the story as you read each page. As a history buff, I was impressed by the historical details of the book. However, I also enjoyed reading about war from a female perspective, as much of the stories we often see tend to focus on men and their achievements.
Certain parts of the book will cause your emotions to stir, particularly when something tragic happens. There were quite a few times where something heartbreaking happens and I needed to put it down for five minutes just to reflect on what I had just read. Even when things begin to slow down and the characters think things will go back to how they once were, you can sense an impending darkness that’s about to haunt them.
The female characters in the book are inspiring and will have you cheering on the sidelines. Despite the challenges that are thrown in their direction, they find a way to maintain survival, as well as striving to help others around them in need. Their shared history in lace weaving brings them together, and at times, gives them hope.
The Lace Weaver is a powerful tale of independence, determination and persistence in a world that's dominated by men.
Release date: Published March 19th 2018 by Simon Schuster Australia
(I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)