A breathtaking debut about love and war, and the battle to save a precious legacy
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.
Praise for The Lace Weaver
'A beautifully written and utterly compelling story of love and war and resistance that shines a light onto a dark and tragic period of history while also illuminating the enduring power of love and friendship. Unforgettable and emotionally wrenching, and as exquisite as the lace the women of the story weave.' Kate Forsyth
'A sweeping historical story set in Estonia and Russia during the tumultuous year of 1941 ... This is a meticulously researched novel, and Chater seamlessly incorporates the symbolic motif of the Estonian lace-weaving tradition and the Tartu knitting circle to link the past and present ... Recommended for fans of Kirsty Manning and Kate Morton, this is a gut-wrenching tale about a devastating time in history. Full of hope, heartache and the power of keeping traditions alive.' Bookseller and Publisher
'From the very first line, I was captivated by this tale of two very different, but equally heroic, women. There is beauty to be found everywhere: in the writing, in the women's friendship, in the tragedy, and in the motif of the lace shawls, which weaves the story together.' Natasha Lester, author of Her Mother's Secret and A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald
'A rich, textured and evocatively told story of love, loss and the ties that bind. The setting is exotic and intriguing and presents a unique side of the war ... I found it difficult to put this haunting novel down and it will stay with me for a long time to come, I'm certain. Lauren Chater is a bold new force in Australian historical fiction. Bravo on a glorious debut!' Tess Woods, author of Beautiful Messy Love and Love at First Flight.
'Beautiful and brilliant ... An impressive, powerful and skillfully told anti-war novel from an extremely gifted writer' Backstory journal