November 14, 2020

#BookReview: The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little #Netgalley

Synopsis: 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 caf├ęs 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.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
My Review: 
This was a hard one for me. I was really excited to start it because I was intrigued by the story of the Chanel sisters. I thought the cover was gorgeous. By the end of the first chapter I had a feeling I was going to be disappointed. For me the pacing was incredibly slow. I also felt the book was overly descriptive, I think that about half the book could have been cut out and it still would have been a great story. I did enjoy getting to know the Chanel sisters through the eyes of the youngest sister Antoinette. When you think of Chanel you automatically think of Coco so it was nice to see her and the brand being built from the perspective of her sister. I enjoyed the overall story even though this one was a bit of a struggle for me to get through. 



“I loved this story of two ambitious women who dare to envision brilliant futures for themselves and refuse to settle for anything less. Judithe Little has created a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the rags-to-riches rise of fashion’s most intriguing icon.”
—Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott and Fast Girls

“Triumphant yet heartbreaking, this so true-to-life story of the fabulous Chanel sisters hits all the right notes: luxury settings, especially Paris, love and betrayal, and family bonds that both build and bind. Judithe Little has a big gift she shares with us in The Chanel Sisters. I loved this great escape.”
—Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Secret

“A stirring rags-to-riches story to be sure, but more than that, The Chanel Sisters explores with care the timeless need for belonging, purpose, and love, and the heart’s relentless pursuit of these despite daunting odds. Beautifully told to the last page.”
—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War

“With compassion, sensitivity, and dashes of humor, Judithe Little masterfully reveals the little-known story of Coco Chanel’s younger sister, Antoinette. From a convent orphanage to the rue Cambon in Paris, this meticulously researched and emotionally enveloping narrative about the sisters’ determined climb out of poverty and into high society is historical fiction at its finest. Antoinette Chanel will capture your heart. If you read only one book this year, make it The Chanel Sisters.”
—Ann Weisgarber, award-winning author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

“[F]ascinating. Little’s story of two indomitable women offers an eye-opening account of the unsung Antoinette and her pivotal role in her famed sister’s success. Fashion aficionados in particular will appreciate this take on the life of a legend.”
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

JUDITHE LITTLE is the award-winning author of Wickwythe Hall. She earned a BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She grew up in Virginia and now lives with her husband, three teenagers, and three dogs in Houston, Texas. Find her on Instagram, @judithelittle, and on Facebook,

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