Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel by C. W. Gortner

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about 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.

An enthralling novel about an entirely self-made woman, Mademoiselle Chanel tells the true story of Coco Chanel’s extraordinary ambition, passion, and artistic vision
my thoughts:

"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
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

This book sounds like lots of fun. Chanel is so timeless. I've always wanted to read a biography about her, but this novel sounds even better. So glad you posted about it! I'm putting it on my list. :)

Lisa said...

Oh, I'm so glad to hear that this is so good. I studied fashion in college and so I've long had a fascination with Chanel.

Nadia said...

Lark, yes! Definitely give it a read - I'm sure you will enjoy it immensely :)

Lisa, that must have been such an interesting course to study. I would imagine Chanel would be one of the MAIN designers to focus on. She definitely was a fascinating woman.

Brona said...

I've wondered about this book. I've read 3 bio's about her, so have been hesitant to tackle a fictionalised account. But of course, she told so many different stories about her life, that even her bio is often based on half-truths and fabrications.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Gortner has a way of bringing his characters - real people - right off the page. I love that!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

C.W. Gortner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.W. Gortner said...

Thank you so much for your lovely review. I'm catching up with the blog tour now (physical tour +flu = UGH) and I'm so honored by all the praise!