The Chanel Sisters: A Novel Spiral-Bound | December 29, 2020
The Chanel Sisters: A Novel
For fans of The Paris Wife, The Only Woman in the Room, and The Woman Before Wallis, a riveting historical novel narrated by Coco Chanel's younger sister about their struggle to rise up from poverty and orphanhood and establish what will become the world's most iconic fashion brand in Paris.
A USA Today and Globe and Mail bestseller!
A novel of survival, love, loss, triumph—and the sisters who changed fashion forever
Antoinette and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel know they’re destined for something better. Abandoned by their family at a young age, they’ve grown up under the guidance of nuns preparing them for simple lives as the wives of tradesmen or shopkeepers. At night, their secret stash of romantic novels and magazine cutouts beneath the floorboards are all they have to keep their dreams of the future alive.
The walls of the convent can’t shield them forever, and when they’re finally of age, the Chanel sisters set out together with a fierce determination to prove themselves worthy to a society that has never accepted them. Their journey propels them out of poverty and to the stylish cafés of Moulins, the dazzling performance halls of Vichy—and to a small hat shop on the rue Cambon in Paris, where a boutique business takes hold and expands to the glamorous French resort towns.
But the sisters’ lives are again thrown into turmoil when World War I breaks out, forcing them to make irrevocable choices, and they’ll have to gather the courage to fashion their own places in the world, even if apart from each other.
“The Chanel Sisters explores with care the timeless need for belonging, purpose, and love, and the heart’s relentless pursuit of these despite daunting odds. Beautifully told to the last page.” —Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
“I loved this story of two ambitious women who dare to envision brilliant futures for themselves and refuse to settle for anything less. Judithe Little has created a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the rags-to-riches rise of fashion’s most intriguing icon.”
—Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott and Fast Girls
“Triumphant yet heartbreaking, this so true-to-life story of the fabulous Chanel sisters hits all the right notes: luxury settings, especially Paris, love and betrayal, and family bonds that both build and bind. Judithe Little has a big gift she shares with us in The Chanel Sisters. I loved this great escape.”
—Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Secret
“A stirring rags-to-riches story to be sure, but more than that, The Chanel Sisters explores with care the timeless need for belonging, purpose, and love, and the heart’s relentless pursuit of these despite daunting odds. Beautifully told to the last page.”
—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
“With compassion, sensitivity, and dashes of humor, Judithe Little masterfully reveals the little-known story of Coco Chanel’s younger sister, Antoinette. From a convent orphanage to the rue Cambon in Paris, this meticulously researched and emotionally enveloping narrative about the sisters’ determined climb out of poverty and into high society is historical fiction at its finest. Antoinette Chanel will capture your heart. If you read only one book this year, make it The Chanel Sisters.”
—Ann Weisgarber, award-winning author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree
“[F]ascinating. Little’s story of two indomitable women offers an eye-opening account of the unsung Antoinette and her pivotal role in her famed sister’s success. Fashion aficionados in particular will appreciate this take on the life of a legend.”
“Full of rich period detail and lush descriptions of the designs that would make Chanel famous, Little's novel is a tribute to gritty hard work, ingenuity and determination. A moving portrait of the deep and complex bonds between sisters, Ninette's story shines a light on a courageous, talented woman too often left in her sister's shadow.”
“The Chanel Sisters is a multi-layered, elegantly crafted story with enthralling attention to historic detail. It is a lovely, gorgeously set romantic story sure to charm lovers of historical fiction with its joie de vivre and savoir faire; a rags-to-riches adventure that adds depth of field to a woman who became a household name.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Little expertly explores the rags-to-riches story of Antoinette and Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, the sisters who would go on to change fashion forever. While Coco would become an icon, many don't know about her equally indomitable younger sister who was left in history's shadows. The true-to-life tale includes heartbreak, loss, love and triumph, and is filled with impeccably researched details about Paris during World War I.”