It's funny how covers change over the years. My copy of Iron Lace has a southern mansion surrounded by azaleas and live oaks. Evidently it is due to be re-released soon with the cover shown. I suspect I got mine from Bookmooch and it has been sitting in my garage for quite some time. I'm not sure if I'm getting pickier about review books, or if my sources haven't offered quite as many, but in any case, I'm finally having time to attack the pile in the garage, rather than just the stack of new arrivals.
Iron Lace is the story of Aurore Gerritsen, a New Orleans woman born around the turn of the century. For reasons that become apparent through the book, in 1965 she chooses to tell her life story, her autobiography as it were, to a young Negro journalist. She tells what she remembers of a night a Hurricane hit Grand Isle, and communities nearby. She tells of a trip to the bayou and meeting a man with whom she'll later fall in love. She tells of her marriage, and of the births of her children. Knowing what I know about New Orleans, I wasn't surprised at the way everything tied together. My only complaint is that a couple of ends were left hanging--we know enough to guess but Richards doesn't really give us answers.
I enjoyed the book, which from what I've been able to tell is probably a good picture of race relations at that time in the history of the city. As a resident, I enjoyed reading about familiar places and people, and I didn't see anything that made me say "Richards needed a New Orleanian to read this before it was published". Grade B+