Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little

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 cafés 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. 

Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 29th 2020
 by Graydon House
3.5/5 stars

I knew nothing about the Chanel Sisters and to be perfectly honest I usually steer clear of books with Hollywoodish/ritzy type stories.  But The Chanel Sisters was included in a recent book box (Thank you SweetReadsBox) and they haven't disappointed me yet.

Beginning when this sisters are young and living in a convent they still managed to stay together.  They are determined to be more then what society views them as.  It was nice getting to know how the Chanel brand was established and all that they went through.  Told from the POV of only one sister, Antoinette I think it would have been nice to hear from Coco as well, especially since it's her name that resonates with many.

The locations spans many countries and I love it when one is close to my home, this unknown piece of their history surprised me.  Who knew?

All in all an entertaining read, knowledge gleamed and a new author discovered.

This book was part of my 2021 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge.

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