Description (from cover):
‘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 1920’s 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.’
I think that I can say that pretty much everyone knows who Coco Chanel is. If you don’t, then perhaps you’ve been living under a rock. Chanel has to be one of the names in fashion that is synonymous with couture and high fashion. The brand is still world-famous today. So who was the woman who started the business? She was a force unto herself. Coco Chanel was not your average fashion designer. She started from nothing and worked her way up the chain and made a name for herself. She fought the struggles of poverty and class, yet determined and with her sights on higher things, she became a legend in her own right.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it to be fascinating and captivating. I knew of Chanel going into this book, but I did not know who she was or anything about her life. This book was phenomenal. It has to be one of the best books that I have read all year. I could not put it down. To watch someone make something from nothing, it was a reading adventure I will not soon forget. Coco had ups and downs in her life, but she never let anything or anyone hold down her dreams. She was determined to make the best out of the worst and she succeeded in ways that many never can. I admire her steadfast ambition and her drive to make things happen. She truly was a remarkable person and a creative genuis.
The author did a fantastic job of creating a story that was remarkable. The story and the characters wove together perfectly and created a wonderful historical masterpiece. I have read several others of Gortner’s previous books and I enjoyed those too, but this one was in a class of its own. I am so glad that I read this as I almost passed it up. By far one of the best books of the year for me so far.
Overall Rating: 5+
Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.