Download Chanel Bonfire Audiobook

Chanel Bonfire Audiobook, by Wendy Lawless Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Wendy Lawless Narrator: Wendy Lawless Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9781452681818
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,253 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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By the time Wendy Lawless turned seventeen, she'd known for quite some time that she didn't have a normal mother. But that didn't stop her from wanting one . . .

Georgann Rea didn't bake cookies or go to PTA meetings; she wore a mink coat and always had a lit Dunhill plugged into her cigarette holder. She went through men like Kleenex, and didn't like dogs or children. Georgann had the ice queen beauty of a Hitchcock heroine and the cold heart to match.

Wendy Lawless deftly charts the highs and lows of growing up with her younger sister in the shadow of an unstable, fabulously neglectful mother. Georgann, a real-life Holly Golightly who constantly reinvents herself as she trades up from trailer park to penthouse, suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts while Wendy tries to hide the cracks in their fractured family from the rest of the world.

Chanel Bonfire depicts a childhood blazed through the refined aeries of the Dakota and the swinging town houses of London, while the girls' beautiful but damned mother desperately searches for glamour and fulfillment. Ultimately, Wendy and her sister must choose between living their own lives and being their mother's warden—the hardest, most painful, yet most important decision each of them will ever make.
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Quotes & Awards

  • Frequently entertaining chronicle of a daughter's sad, detached upbringing---but this story's all about the mother. Kirkus
  • “Lawless leavens her harrowing story with biting humor and never descends into self-pity—but boy, do we feel for her.”

    People

  • “[A] quick but powerful read that you can only wish was fiction.”

    USA Today

  • “[A] wrought and engaging memoir.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/19/2014

    " Another great memoir. I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/10/2014

    " This a memoir that reads like a novel. Every inch a page turner. Finished in less than 8 hours. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 1/30/2014

    " Invoked memories of The Glass Castle, just with more money. It's so sad how powerless children are when confronted with parents dealing with mental illness and addictions. A very quick and compelling read. You just had to see what other awful things these girls are to endure (the whole can't look away from an accident scene idea). I'm glad the postscript was there to ease my mind regarding the aftermath. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/28/2014

    " I think Wendy Lawless described her story/memoir perfectly...horrible and horribly funny. Wendy has ties to Minneapolis and it was thru her family here that I heard about her story and book release. The book was a fast and easy read, Wendy and her younger sister were abused by their alcoholic mother and survived with humor and love for each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/28/2014

    " I too, could not put this one down. Very interesting memoir... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deena | 1/23/2014

    " I really enjoyed this memoir. The author does a great job of taking us through her tumultuous upbringing with her narcissistic and sociopathic mother. She has a way of telling the story that reminded me a lot of Jeanette Walls in The Glass Castle, detached somewhat emotionally but still able to convey the frustrations of having such a difficult childhood. Some of the details seemed too fantastic, but then again she has lived a far different life than my own and traveled in circles I cannot imagine. The author has a great voice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassie | 1/19/2014

    " Finished this one pretty quickly. Very "Mommy Dearest" meets "All Families Are Psychotic". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marylou | 1/16/2014

    " A sad, but interesting story of how two sisters survived childhood living with an alcoholic, self-absorbed, manipulative, abusive, crazy mother. Makes you appreciate your own parents that's for sure (at least if they were not like this). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maddy | 1/11/2014

    " I was so frustrated with Wendy's passivity (is that even a word?)! I can't even imagine how this mother got away with this behavior for so long and why Wendy continued to tolerate it. Robin was my hero! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 1/2/2014

    " Very hard to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 12/17/2013

    " An easy read that I didn't want to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 12/16/2013

    " Good fast read. Fascinating and sad how some children are raised on all ends of the economic/social spectrum. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 12/8/2013

    " Loved this story. Love how it was written with such vivid descriptions of the main characters. Moving memoir! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 E | 11/27/2013

    " Not worth your time. So many better books to read. Empty and pointless! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darilynn | 11/26/2013

    " wow - another Joan Crawford type mom in this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 8/31/2013

    " Wendy Lawless had written a tell all memoir about growing up with a psychotic mother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cryan | 7/18/2013

    " Could not put this down. Devastating, but so witty. Great, great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marissa | 7/12/2013

    " Good story. Entertaining and interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 6/4/2013

    " I loved this book, which is the April selection for our Brown Bag Book Club. It's wonderfully written. The author's perspective on her harrowing childhood is so honest and insightful. I highly recommend this book . . . and look forward to the next memoir Wendy Lawless writes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 5/13/2013

    " I really never get tired of poor little rich girl stories. Sorry for Wendy Lawless that this one is true. It's so much like the fiction tale, The Chocolate Money, but as a real mom, Georgann outdoes the worst of fictional moms from hell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carly | 5/6/2013

    " Like reading a gossip magazine that was someone's childhood. Loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/16/2013

    " Compelling memoir about growing up in a household with an alcoholic, narcissistic mother creating havoc on her family. It was very engrossing and a fast read. Totally dysfunctional family but funny and enlightening at the same time. "

About the Author

Wendy Lawless is an actress who has appeared on television, in regional theater, Off-Broadway in David Ives’s Obie-winning play All in the Timing, and on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. Her work has appeared in Redbook magazine, on Powells.com, and in the local Los Angeles press. She lives in California with her screenwriter husband and their two children.