Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery

Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner, review

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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.


Like every girl, and some guys, I’ve always wanted to own a piece of Chanel.  (Mine is a gorgeous scarf.. so far)  However, I did not know much about Coco herself other than her and I share a birthday.  She was an absolutely fascinating woman who came from nothing, worked hard,  and completely changed women’s fashion.

I could scarcely put this book down.  At its conclusion, I was so satisfied, I felt like I needed a cigarette – and I don’t smoke!  Coco Chanel herself surely would have approved.  C.W. Gortner has taken a detour from his norm of Historical Fiction and takes us on a fabulous journey through the world of fashion as only he could.  MADEMOISELLE CHANEL is the type of book that you want to read in one sitting but when you do, you’re upset that it’s over!   But, it’s so captivating from the very first page, I was unable to resist.  The writing is so fluid it flows like a fine wine through the veins of the reader, making them one with the words on the pages.  Surroundings are described with care and make it easy for the reader to imagine being there.  The characters come to life in vivid fashion, are brilliantly textured and thoughtfully written.

I’ve read several other books by C.W. Gortner and I can honestly say that this is the best one ever.  I was a fan of his (he’s wonderful) and his books before and didn’t think they could get any better, but I was wrong.  MADEMOISELLE CHANEL completely soars above the rest.  An author who grows in their craft is, to me, the ultimate.


*I was given an e-book copy of this book by Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you to them*




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