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Extended Audio Sample Mademoiselle Chanel, by C. W. Gortner Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: C. W. Gortner Narrator: Rebecca Gibe Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny. 

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her. 

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion, and artistic vision would become her trademark.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sucked me in by the pearls and never let go…equal parts grit and glamour…If you can’t afford to visit Paris in peak springtime season, reading this book with a glass of wine is a decent substitute.”


  • “Enticing…[A] well-researched and well-crafted historical novel that leaves the reader satisfied on many levels.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “Gortner brings to life a woman who was as alluring and captivating as her signature scent.”

    Historical Novels Review

  • “Detailing a life spent among the most influential people of the time, the story of Coco Chanel takes readers through some of the most powerful moments in world history, all seen through the eyes of one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. Gortner brings history to life in a fascinating study of one woman’s unstoppable ambition.”


  • “An admiring portrait of the designer who first modernized women’s wear, told in the first person as she looks back over her life…Well written and historically accurate…An homage to a couture icon whose influence is still powerful today.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In a novel as brilliant and complicated as Coco Chanel herself, C. W. Gortner’s prose is so electric and luminous it could be a film and not just any film but one of the grandest biopics of our time. Divine!”

    Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl

  • “A richly imagined, deftly researched novel, in which the ever fascinating Coco Chanel comes to life in all her woe and splendor, her story unfolding as elegantly as a Chanel gown.”

    Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls

  • “[A] deliciously satisfying novel.”

    Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train

  • “Few fashion icons shine as brightly as Coco Chanel, and this audiobook explores the origins of that sparkle. Rebecca Gibel narrates with a reverent tone, making each detail a kind of celebration of Chanel’s legendary life and art. The audiobook begins modestly: Young Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s mother dies, leaving her children alone and desperate. Gibel makes all voices believable without being cloying, capturing the drama of every situation with her clear pronunciation and pretty snippets of French…This audiobook makes a great listen for that summertime beach read or long road trip.”


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