It’s a tour day today, and I’m so pleased to share with you C.W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel!Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner
Published by William Morrow on March 17th 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Purchase at IndieBound | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
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.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ve never been a fashionista nor am I particularly fashionable, but even so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out C.W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel. (I do wear Coco Mademoiselle every so often, it dresses up my jeans & t-shirt wardrobe very nicely!)
I LOVED this look at the life of a young woman whose beauty and skill gets her noticed, and whose grit and determination gets her places. Life was not easy for young Gabrielle Chanel, abandoned by her father and placed with nuns upon the death of her mother. The nuns clothe and feed Gabrielle and her sister Julia, nurture Gabrielle’s sewing talents, and eventually find employment for her, though (of course) for a pittance. It’s not long before she decides to try her hand at selling her own wares, convinced her designs would appeal for its elegant simplicity.
But things never turn out as planned, and Gabrielle has to decide if she’s going to accept the helping hand offered by a young man intrigued by her looks and her brash attitude. (Y’all know how I like a girl with attitude, right?)
I should start calling her Coco hereabouts, though. Anyway.
Coco as portrayed by C.W. Gortner is a mesmerizing persona, changing her life on strength of will alone, it seems. She goes after what she wants, never letting anyone hold her back. Not that she’s perfect, but then none of us are.
I couldn’t put down Mademoiselle Chanel, even when Coco made decisions I didn’t agree with. Then again, this is her story – not mine – and C.W. Gortner does an amazing job in the telling of it! Pick this up if historical fiction’s your thing, or if you’ve ever wondered about this fashion icon.
drey’s rating: Outstanding!
Have you read Mademoiselle Chanel? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of Mademoiselle Chanel for you. This one’s open to US residents only; no PO Boxes please. To enter, fill out the form below before April 13th. Good luck!