This wonderful read has as it's central character the Raspberry Pink Chanel Suit that Jacqueline Kennedy wore on November 22nd 1963 when her husband was assassinated, in Dallas, Texas.
A novelisation of history, the book takes us into the heart of the garment/fashion industry which so devotedly produced clothes for Americas most glamorous First Lady under the guise of the great French Couture Houses.
Chez Ninon and it's cast of owners and workers will grab your attention and hold it fast as their tale rolls out and as we learn more about them, their desires and hopes and aspirations in life, it is also a love story both in the traditional sense and in the non traditional, the traditional has a man at its centre and the non traditional has a gorgeous Chanel Suit at its centre, so really we have two entwined stories here,each magical in its own right.
The writing entices you in and ensnares you, the descriptions of the people, times and places are accurate to within an inch, the characters unfold and like the story they grow as they twist and turn around the whims of a Fashion Obsessive. There is a raft of detail in this book but it is never stilted, the narrative flows along, teaching you all you will ever need to know about creating a garment or surviving in the fashion industry.
Each of the characters brings their own issues to the story and most have a slight duplicity about them, something that you don't quite know about but that keeps you wondering....
At its heart is the love story between Kate and Patrick and too get to that we follow a rocky path, love isn't easy and neither is producing garments for a hungry populace wanting to look like its idol, let alone the disappointments and frustrations that come with attempting to meet the idols expectations.
Canny, witty and gossipy, I read this book in two days which is unheard of during term time.
A book that manages to take you on a journey that is rooted in history made accessible by the author,
It is the type of story that brings alive those aspects of history that have now become iconic, weather they be people, places or things, novelisation gives them new life and a freshness that a text book doesn't have.
This book was an ARC from Unity Books, it is available at the end of April.