|Cover of Lace|
Often dismissed by the literary world as just raunchy chick-lit, I recently re-read Lace to see what I thought of it now that I'm (apparently) a grown-up. And I'd have to say that although it's definitely raunchy, it's too dark for chick-lit and it actually addresses a lot of the harrowing elements of life: abortion, adoption, rape, the sex industry and adultery, to name a few. And the girl doesn't always get the boy in the end either.
But what I ultimately took away from it is that it's a story about friendship, and love, and loyalty. And it's also a story about women making their own way in the world. Pagan comes from an old aristocratic family whose way of life is disappearing. She's been bred to be a wife and not much more and after finishing school, where all of the main characters meet at the start of the story, she drifts into marriage with the wrong man and is a bored society wife living the ex-pat life in Egypt. I chose her out of all of the characters in the book as for me she was the most real, the most loyal of all the friends, and the one that needed looking out for the most.
Even though it was 25 years between readings, the story drew me in just as much the second time around, although this time I could recognise that its real message appeared to be that women deserved to have orgasms!