Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky 

Chris Greenhalgh

You've all heard of Coco Chanel, the famous fashion designer? Well this is the story of her amorous relationship with the composer Igor Stravinsky. Over the summer of 1913 she puts up the Stravinksy's in her beautiful estate in Grasse and brings an expected level of chaos into their lives.

Having know little of Chanel but her clothes before picking up this gem of a novel I was surprised to learn of her complicated life. After all a bastard  orphan up-starter isn't exactly what I would picture when I pictured Coco but that is exactly how Greenhalgh portrays her. Chanel is the essence of a modern woman, and because of that woman today will relate to her strength and power. Igor is intriguing. He is described as unattractive, but the intensity of which he works on his music is heart warming, and his inner turmoil over his love for his wife Catherine, and Coco is adorable.

This was the perfect end of summer read. Greehalgh has a way of describing places so you  feel your there. And what better place to spend the last days of summer than 1910's Paris? This was a really great read, and while all of the characters were deeply flawed, most were easy to relate to. Not the best book I've read all summer but still fun.

I haven't seen the movie based of the book. Have any of you seen it?


BookQuoter said...

I think I will probably end up reading this book. Coco Chanel is definitely one intriguing woman.

Jillian said...

I really enjoyed this book! Have you ever watched the movie, Coco Before Chanel? It's almost the same, but it doesn't center around her relationship with Stravinsky.