Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sideboob Reading Challenge: Lace by Shirley Conran

See the entire Sideboob Reading Challenge List!

WARNING: this post contains book spoilers.

I may have talked about the golden age of television movies in the past. Back in the 70s and 80s a miniseries that interrupted regular programming on any of the Big Three networks was an event. We'd rush home from work so as not to miss a minute of Roots, North and South, The Winds of War, or whatever mega-bestselling novel got the small screen treatment, enacted by a cast more than worthy of filling a Love Boat episode. In the early 80's you could add Shirley Conran's Lace to that list. It starred Phoebe Cates, and if you check Youtube you can watch the entire thing in twenty-plus increments. Of course, I wasn't allowed to watch the sexy back then, but judging from the one trailer I found it's a safe bet that Phoebe and company chewed up the scenery, gargled, and spat it out.

Anyway, I can't comment on the amount of sideboobage in the miniseries just yet. The book, though...holy cow, this book. As you can tell by the cover, the recent edition has a quasi-Fifty Shades makeover, and this story makes the latter read like a Mother Goose rhyme. So you know, though, there are portions of Lace that just drag on - when you span a few decades in a story you have to acknowledge that not all of it is spent between the sheets. Given the graphic detail of some sex here, though, it's probably a good thing.

So here's the story: there are four girls in Switzerland for school: American Judy, Brits Kate and Pagan, and French Maxine. They bond, they flirt with boys, one gets pregnant. The decision is made to place the baby in foster care until the mother is in a good place to collect her. When young Elizabeth (Lili) travels with her foster family to Hungary they are caught up in the revolution, and all but Lili are killed. It is assumed she has died, too.

The story jumps forward through the lives of these five girls-to-women. Bad marriages happen, careers flourish, but Lili gets the rawest end of the deal. She's adopted by two soulless harpies, then runs away and ends up in porn (underage, ick) before rising to become a popular starlet. It's not until the last hundred pages or so when she finally decides to trace her mother down, and it turns out she's encountered one of the possible candidates in the past.

Elsewhere in the story is woven a subplot about a Middle Eastern prince with weird sex fetishes (a goldfish figures into one scene - eye-bleach worthy). It reads out of place in the book, until you come to the conclusion...and unless you're really into stuff like VC Andrews you probably won't like it.

Lace is the book with everything. You may rage read it, you may end up searching the net for a thousand GIFs of disgusted and WTF expressions for enhancing your Goodreads review, who knows? All I can say is, I don't think I can get through Lace II, which continues the search for the father.

Who am I kidding? I'm checking the library now.


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