Monday, February 18, 2019

Book Review - The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin


Hi all,

I've been reading and enjoying a lot of historical fiction lately. This one caught my eye and I really enjoyed it. I hadn't known much about Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli before reading this novel, and I found them fascinating. If you love historical fiction - you will love this novel. 



The Last Collection:

A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel

Jeanne Mackin


Book Description:

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.


Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Preorder now:



My Five-Star Review:

A young artist and widow, Lily Sutter, finds herself in the center of a great rivalry between designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in Paris, France in 1938. As she befriends both women, she learns more about them and their past as war looms around them.

I absolutely loved this book. The feud between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli is described to perfection while Lily sits on the sidelines, being a neutral bystander. Amidst their rivalry, the threat of World War II brings tension to the story. This beautifully written story is difficult to put down and yet you do not want it to end. I highly recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction.  


About the Author:

Jeanne Mackin is the author of several historical novels. Her most recent is The Beautiful American. She has worked as a journalist for several publications, and as a university research and science writer. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, with her husband, artist Steve Poleskie. Jeanne was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and her journalism has won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. 

For more information, visit:
www.JeanneMackin.com



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