Iron Lace – Reading Guide

  1. African-American journalist Phillip Benedict wonders why white society matriarch Aurore Gerritsen has chosen him to write her memoirs.  After all, it’s 1965 and Louisiana is, for the most part, still segregated.  As Aurore’s story unfolds, at what point did you begin to suspect her reason for choosing Phillip?
  2. South Louisiana has a rich heritage, made richer by traditions and cultures of a diversity of ethnic and racial groups.  Did you come to appreciate the difference between Creoles and Cajuns and the cultural importance of African-Americans in Louisiana history?
  3. Racism was and still is a fact of life worldwide.  Did the struggle of the characters of all backgrounds seem real to you?
  4. Aurore and Rafe are star-crossed lovers.  What decisions did each of them make that doomed their love?  What decision did each make that enriched it?
  5. Aurore and Henry Gerritsen’s marriage was not made in heaven.  Considering the times they lived in and the culture surrounding them, was it believable to you that Aurore would stay with Henry, even when she realized the mistake she had made?  Was the marriage payback for her own need for revenge?
  6. Despite their many flaws, did you find Aurore and Rafe sympathetic?  Or did you feel they had sealed their own fates by the mistakes they made?