‘Lace’ by Shirley Conran
‘Lace’ tells the story of the lives of a deep friendship of four girls, -Judy, Maxine, Pagan and Kate- which is later on in the book torn apart. The girls met at boarding school together, and grow up facing many different difficulties through each of their love lives and professional lives. The book really looks at the typical behaviour of young schoolgirls who discuss their dreams of the future, and when they grow up, realise it’s not as simple as it seems. Each girl is very different in their own way, each with a feisty attitude and driven, making this book very entertaining.
The book is based on the four girls, who are forced to look back on the horrible details of their lives when they are faced with a mistake of the past, which walks into their lives demanding information to which one of the girls is her real mother, Lili. The four girls share a very deep secret, one which is the heart of the book, and when Lili shows up and confronts them with the famous line throughout the book ‘Which one of you bitches is my mother?’. The line immediately captures your attention and you are forced into reading the dirty details this novel gives. Each of the four girls comes across Lili throughout their lives, and each of the girls has a reason to hate her.
Lili is very different to the four girls- Judy, Maxine, Pagan and Kate are very elegant, sophisticated and successful women who were brought up with money. Lili, leads a tragic upbringing of being adopted by a family who was looking more for a carer than a daughter, and was offered an escape by a man called Serge. Serge treated Lili well, lavished her with money so that she would stay with him and keep making him money as he realised Lili would one day become very successful, and exploits her so he doesn’t lose his chance in a share of the money. I feel Lili’s character is portrayed around the question ‘who is her mother?’ which on her journey to find nearly destroys her.
Lili looks back to the past to find out details of her mother, and narrows it down to the 4 school friends, and at the end of the book brings them together for an explosive end to the novel where she is told the truth.