Books, Historical

The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little Book Review

It was so much easier to dream when you knew what to dream of.”

Excerpts from:
The Chanel Sisters
Judithe Little
Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

I’m one of those who adores Chanel but finds the pricey pleasures from the renowned brand to be prohibitive, therefore I’m particularly curious to hear how they got started and how the business took off.

When I first saw this book, I assumed the title, “Chanel” Sisters, was just a coincidence. I started by looking for it on Goodreads and discovered that it was all about them. I started reading it right away, and I had a difficult time putting it down.

I became really interested in the book when the author mentioned what the Chanel sisters were thinking when she said that, in their words, “people thought they were buying Chanel for glamour and sophistication, but what they were actually purchasing were the relics of their youth, memories of the nuns who educated them and the abbey that provided them with shelter. An illusion of riches sprung from the rags of their past.” These words drew my attention and caused me to reflect on what actually happened to them and how hard they may have worked to achieve their greatness.

Although the story described what happened to them when they were children, their battles, love stories, and failures, I really like how the author described it in a way that made me feel like I was there to see their tribulations. Although I don’t often enjoy reading biographies, this one is incredibly sophisticated, elegant, and just lovely. It’s tragic, but when I read about their struggles in the past, I can really sense how they deserved to be recognized today. It is true that every tale of adversity is lavish, thus their brand truly merits to become opulently well-known.

I would like to suggest this book to everyone who enjoys reading and is interested in learning what happened to the major characters in this lovely book.

My Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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