by C.W. Gortner
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Just released: March 17, 2015
Genre: Fashion, Historical, France, WWII
Hardback: 384 pages
For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.
Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.
Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become 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, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles 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.
An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.
Whoa, what an amazing woman!
I was impressed with all that Coco went through from childhood to her death while maintaining her passion for fashion. To top it off she made her mark in fashion history and continues to influence women's classic fashion and elegant style all over the world.
This story did well in getting into some of the nitty gritty behind-the-scenes world of Coco Chanel. I liked the descriptions behind some of Coco's signature and well-known works. A little black dress is one I must eventually add to my wardrobe ;-)
The struggles and success Coco had in regards to her signature parfum, Chanel No. 5, was a history that was new and fascinating to me. Not being one who wears perfume, I was inspired to seek out the scent to see what all the fuss was about.
Coco's friends, loves and love affairs described were also interesting to read about in that they helped in setting the mood and culture of the times. But most of all, one could see how people in her inner circle were such driving forces in her life apart from her work.
About the author:
His new novel, “Mademoiselle Chanel”, traces the tumultuous rise to fame of iconic fashion designer, Coco Chanel.
In 2016, Random House will publish his eighth novel, “Vatican Princess”, about Lucrezia Borgia.
Raised in Spain and a long-time resident of the Bay Area, C.W. is also dedicated to companion animal rescue from overcrowded shelters.
For 6 winners
Open to US only:
5 printed copies
+ 1 beautiful, handcrafted beaded bracelet
inspired by Coco's black-and-white signature colors
and camellia design
You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.
Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]
* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: WWII
* review copy and giveaway courtesy of book tour sponsored by France Book Tours
* CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, EXCERPTS, GUEST-POST AND INTERVIEW