Chanel's Riviera

Glamour, Decadence, and Survival in Peace and War, 1930-1944
Narrated by: Sophie Roberts
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this captivating narrative, Chanel’s Riviera explores the fascinating world of the Cote d’Azur during a period that saw the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the 20th century.

The Cote d’Azur in 1938 was a world of wealth, luxury, and extravagance, inhabited by a sparkling cast of characters including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Joseph P. Kennedy, Gloria Swanson, Colette, the Mitfords, Picasso, Cecil Beaton, and Somerset Maugham. The elite flocked to the Riviera each year to swim, gamble, and escape from the turbulence plaguing the rest of Europe. At the glittering center of it all was Coco Chanel, whose very presence at her magnificently appointed villa, La Pausa, made it the ultimate place to be. Born an orphan, her beauty and formidable intelligence allured many men, but it was her incredible talent, relentless work ethic, and exquisite taste that made her an icon.

But this wildly seductive world was poised on the edge of destruction. In a matter of months, the Nazis swooped down and the glamour of the pre-war parties and casinos gave way to the horrors of evacuation and the displacement of thousands of families during World War II. From the bitter struggle to survive emerged powerful stories of tragedy, sacrifice, and heroism.

Enriched by original research and de Courcy’s signature skill, Chanel’s Riviera brings the experiences of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted, to vivid life. 

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Anne de Courcy (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Bit Misleading...

I was super excited to “read” this one as I really enjoyed de Courcy’s “The Husband Hunters”. The description of this book sounded fascinating. It was interesting but not what I expected. A good 75% of the novel was about World War II. While the Riviera was discussed in this context, it was more about France during the war with occasional check-ins with Chanel and her circle. The book details a host of characters, all interesting but it was hard to keep everyone straight, particularly as the years progressed. DeCourcy’s commitment to first hand accounts is impressive but in the end, I feel like I didn’t get what I thought I was getting, and was left wanting to know more about the Riviera.

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Excellent

Kept me interested,could not stop listening. I will recommend,and play again one of my favorites!!!