|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
She revolutionized fashion and built an international empire . . . all on her own terms
Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother’s death. The nuns of the order nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that would propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.
Burning with ambition, the petite brunette transforms herself into Coco, by day a hard-working seamstress and by night a singer in a nightclub, where her incandescence draws in a wealthy gentleman who becomes the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.
Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, Coco’s sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As her reputation spreads, her couture business explodes, taking her into rarefied circles of society and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her always.
"There are people who have money and people who are rich."
"I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all."
"Fashion changes, but style endures."
Coco Chanel was fashion and her quotes live on to provide advice, insight, and a smile. Her namesake brand is iconic and coveted by everyone. I know that I would LOVE to own one of her quilted handbags - preferably in black or red. Her clothes reek of class and elegance and STYLE. I love watching reality shows (Rachel Zoe) when they attend fashion shows and we get to see what's new on the runway - especially Chanel and Marc Jacobs. Plus, the episode when Rachel got to tour Chanel's apartment and try on her sunglasses - that was MAJOR!! My point is that I love fashion and reading all about, especially the people in the design trenches who create such beautiful and unforgettable pieces - like Coco Chanel. So, when I offered the chance to read Gortner's creative take on Chanel's life story, I jumped at the chance. After all, I love historical fiction and Coco Chanel - so, what better way to combine the two, right?
Well, let's just say that Gortner knows how to weave a fantastic story filled with fascinating details, rich and developed characters and oodles of drama. I absolutely loved his novel Mademoiselle Chanel. It was unputdownable! I found myself captivated from the first page and didn't want to stop reading (even though it was nearing three in the morning!). I loved the way he portrayed this amazing woman as being more than fashion - she was a force to be reckoned with. Her past and the people she met along the way truly helped shape her to become the formidable woman the world knew her to be. She was a talented, hard-working and independent woman. I loved getting to know her through Gortner's words. He brought her to life. And when he describes her fashion - OMG!!- you can't help but swoon as you imagine it. This is one story I was happy to read.
To find out what other bloggers have to say about Gortner's novel, check out the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Mademoiselle Chanel