Antoinette and Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel know they're destined for something better. Abandoned by their family at a young age, they've grown up under the guidance of 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.
In Judithe Little’s beguiling The Chanel Sisters, the road to personal fulfillment starts with a dream ... The Chanel Sisters is a multi-layered, elegantly crafted story with enthralling attention to historic detail. It is a lovely, gorgeously set romantic story sure to charm lovers of historical fiction with its joie de vivre and savoir faire; a rags-to-riches adventure that adds depth of field to a woman who became a household name.
The Chanel Sisters is well done and believable. Though little is known of Antoinette Chanel’s life, Judithe Little gives her an authentic voice that makes you believe that everything you are reading is fact. Her characters are fully formed with believable dreams and obstacles and, as a reader, you are fully invested in their success. While Judithe Little does a fine job presenting the reader with the romantic tale of the Chanel sisters, she is able to present something more. Throughout the book you are reminded of the rigid social construct of French society. The Chanel Sisters is a well-researched historical fiction that depicts France’s Belle Epoch and post-war change. But most importantly, is an exploration of class, ambition, and the sacrifices these women had to make in order to achieve success and love.
In [The Chanel Sisters], Little takes us into a fictionalized world of the real-life Gabrielle and Antoinette Chanel as they struggle to survive a distressing childhood, find their independence, and eventually build their eponymous brand ... Building on the bare-bones scaffolding of what is known about Antoinette, Little crafts an intimate tale chronicling the sisters’ unorthodox journey from rags to riches ... In this inspiring novel, Judithe Little brings the private history of Antoinette and Coco Chanel to life ...