Book Review for THE LAST COLLECTION by Jeanne Mackin
THE LAST COLLECTION by Jeanne Mackin
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A vivid tale filled with heart, banter, strong women, and fashion.
THE LAST COLLECTION is historical fiction at its best. Cloaked in Mackin’s eloquence and effortless writing style, this book shows the strength, intelligence, and passion of three women throughout the time before and after World War II.
What I love about this book is that it is so much more than the story of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. When I started it, I thought it was going to be predominantly the ins and outs of these two famous designer’s lives as well as their collections during that time. However, what the author gave us was much richer by letting us see it all through Lily’s eyes. Her character became the reader’s way to experience the world of France during the late 1930s.
While reading, I was able to immerse myself in the fashion and the whimsy all the while knowing the reality surrounding all those I encountered in the book. The balance of the pre/post-war life and fashion is a crucial part of this book. It amazed me how the author expertly wove together all the elements with characters just as fabulous their real-life counterparts. I know I never was able to meet the great Coco Chanel or Elsa Schiaparelli, but the time I spent with them in this book made me feel like I did.
If you are a fashionista, a historical fiction lover, or just someone who loves a good story, this is the book for you. It will give you all the drama and emotions you could want as it entertains and enchants you.
Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.
Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s bold, experimental, and surreal.
When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps.
Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.
About the Author: Jeanne Mackin is the author of several historical novels, including The Beautiful American. She taught creative writing at Goddard College and has given numerous workshops. She lives with her husband in upstate New York.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (June 25, 2019)
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