Received: Received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 17, 2015
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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.
This is exactly the type of book that I love, one that cover just shouts out to be picked up, and from there a story about Chanel and how it came to be such a big name is so high on my list with the historical significance. I can honestly say that I was hooked from the beginning, I went everywhere with this book and tried to get in a page whenever I could, just to learn that much more about the life of Coco Chanel.
C.W. Gortner truly brings Coco's life to readers in such a vivid way that I felt I was living these days with her and jumping through all the hoops, helping her get her feet on the ground. Right from the beginning you can tell that things for Gabrielle are not going to be easy, but she is such a fighter and I loved learning about her life. Coco attempts to grow with the times and she becomes more creative and works harder and harder to make a reputation for herself and truly be happy of her work. I absolutely loved her passion for her creations and that passion is what helps make them that much more popular, she knows how to conjure friendships with the right people to push her venture even further forward.
But even though Coco has these good fortunes coming her way, not everything in this story is sunshine and fairytales... Coco goes through many hardships and learns the consequences of choosing work over love sometimes. Even though Coco is a passionate person, sometimes it gets the best of her and she ends up truly hurt because she let certain people get away. There is a lot of romance in this book but it doesn't overtake what is truly important to Coco, and she grows along with the world.
What really added to this book was how C.W. Gortner added in major historical events and we get to see how these events affect Coco's business and how she fights through the tough times. I loved the historical aspects that bring readers deeper into Coco's life. Honestly, Gortner has truly delivered with this story about a woman who fought for what she wanted, and her passion, drive and true work ethic gave her the life she wished for in many ways. This is a powerful book that shows anything can be achieved if you truly work hard and have a passion, but also don't give up everything for one small thing... no matter what there will be some regrets in life, but you can't let them take over your life.
I truly recommend this book to any reader out there, this book has so much for everyone and I think it is worth the read!