This month I have been reading "Madamoiselle Chanel: A Novel" by C.W. Gortner. It's a biography written in the style of an autobiography or memoir and it has had me gripped! I've read many Chanel biographies and as far as they go, this one is my favourite. If you're looking for a shortened version of Coco Chanel's story, I'd recommend Megan Hess's fabulous illustrated version, which also doubles up as a beautiful coffee table book.
There are many moments in my life and career that have been of significance to me, most of which I remember clearly and still think back to today. I can't actually remember when I first discovered Coco Chanel but her journey and career have always inspired me. I think the first mention of Chanel was when I discovered the famous Chanel No. 5 perfume and then I later began learning about the incredible story of the original designer and founder of the brand - Coco Chanel. Her story is one of true perseverance and determination, passion and talent.
There are a couple of things I particularly liked about this book. Obviously, the story itself is fascinating and will leave you feeling inspired. The second being that the book is written by a male author. I find his portrayal of Chanel to be very positive and much more "human" than other biographies I've read. Without causing a debate on gender equality but rather noting a general observation here, there's often this misconception that successful women are ruthless, cold and insensitive - unfair, I know! And we all know how messages can get changed and reworked over time until an iconic figure in history becomes an unrecognisable version of their original self. Yes, Coco Chanel was a determined, no-nonsense individual but she was also generous, caring and charitable. This book does an excellent job of showing that and so compliments to the author on that!
Having read many biographies and autobiographies, some have been thoroughly enjoyable reads, whereas others have had very slow starts. I've found that no matter how interested I am in the person, if the biography doesn't keep me enticed from the beginning, I struggle to maintain the interest to continue reading. This book grabbed my attention from the start and despite the many deadlines and mass of work I've had to contend with over the last month, I've struggled to put it down. If you're looking for a book that will lift your spirits, inspire you to pursue your dreams, believe that anything is possible and restore your faith in the benefits of true determination then you should definitely give this a read!
My only issue with this book is that it has come to an end and I'm now trying to find something equally as exciting that will keep me as gripped as this story has!