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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Review: The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little

The Chanel Sisters 
by Judithe Little

Thank you Graydon House for this gorgeous copy.

Publisher: Graydon House
Publish Date: December 29, 2020
400 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

A novel of survival, love, loss, triumph—and the sisters who changed fashion forever

Antoinette and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel know they’re destined for something better. Abandoned by their family years before, they’ve grown up under the guidance of pious nuns preparing them for simple lives as the wives of tradesmen or shopkeepers. At night, their secret stash of romantic novels and magazine cutouts beneath the floorboards are all they have to keep their dreams of the future alive.

The walls of the convent can’t shield them forever, and when they’re finally of age, the Chanel sisters set out together with a fierce determination to prove themselves worthy to a society that has never accepted them. Their journey propels them out of poverty and to the stylish cafĂ©s of Moulins, the dazzling performance halls of Vichy—and to a small hat shop on the rue Cambon in Paris, where a business takes hold and expands to the glamorous French resort towns. But when World War I breaks out, their lives are irrevocably changed, and the sisters must gather the courage to fashion their own places in the world, even if apart from each other. 

My Review:

We have all heard of Coco Chanel.  Now read about her and her sisters through how Little perceived their lives may have gone.  I thank #Bookstagram for making me a lover of Historical Fiction.  I really wasn't sure what I would think of this one as fashion has never been my forte ... but it doesn't have to be in order to get involved with the Chanel sisters.

Little takes us through their lives over a large span of time and we really get to know these girls.  The opening already had my heart breaking.  Their mother dies young as she drags the children around after their father who is consistently not around.  He splits the brothers from their sisters and without guilt, leaves them all.  The sisters end up with the nuns... and this is where their story really begins.

We get to learn about how Coco came up with the Chanel symbol and how they became involved in fashion.  However, what was most fascinating were their friendships, romances and unwavering loyalty.  There are certainly some sad moments within but these girls are truly an inspiration.  And I think we forget that the people behind the big names are just people, doing their best.

May we all always search for "Something Better".


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