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Publisher's Summary

Legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel is revered for her sophisticated style - the iconic little black dress - and famed for her intoxicating perfume Chanel No. 5. Yet behind the public persona is a complicated woman of intrigue, shadowed by mysterious rumors. The Queen of Paris, the new novel from award-winning author Pamela Binnings Ewen, vividly imagines the hidden life of Chanel during the four years of Nazi occupation in Paris in the midst of WWII - as discovered in recently unearthed wartime files. 

Coco Chanel could be cheerful, lighthearted, and generous; she also could be ruthless, manipulative, even cruel. Against the winds of war, with the Wehrmacht marching down the Champs-Élysées, Chanel finds herself residing alongside the Reich’s High Command in the Hotel Ritz. Surrounded by the enemy, Chanel wages a private war of her own to wrestle full control of her perfume company from the hands of her Jewish business partner, Pierre Wertheimer. With anti-Semitism on the rise, he has escaped to the United States with the confidential formula for Chanel No. 5. Distrustful of his intentions to set up production on the outskirts of New York City, Chanel fights to seize ownership. The House of Chanel shall not fall. 

While Chanel struggles to keep her livelihood intact, Paris sinks under the iron fist of German rule. Chanel - a woman made of sparkling granite - will do anything to survive. She will even agree to collaborate with the Nazis in order to protect her darkest secrets. When she is covertly recruited by Germany to spy for the Reich, she becomes Agent F-7124, code name: Westminster. But why? And to what lengths will she go to keep her stormy past from haunting her future?

©2020 Pamela Binnings Ewen (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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What listeners say about The Queen of Paris

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Perceptive Biography and Narration

I loved this listen. The author does a great job of switching between two timelines; one first person and one third person. The author really captures Coco's self-centered world, while managing to let us still like her. I especially liked the details of Paris during WWII occupation. I am a native French speaker, and the narrator did an amazing job with all the languages (French, German, etc) and the great variety of characters. Her men voices didn't give me hives. I'm picky that way. This is a wonderful fictional biography.

7 people found this helpful

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Wonderful, human story

I’ve read numerous books on the life of Coco Chanel, and this one is by far my favorite. This account of her life was from her own point of view, which made it all the more interesting. Her personal vulnerabilities, along with her strengths, resilience, and creativity were all interwoven in such a masterful way, that the complexities of her character and personality were compelling. The disappointments and heartbreaks in her life impacted her character so dramatically, that, for me, made her a sympathetic character, in spite of her Nazi connections. Wonderful book.

6 people found this helpful

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Imagined

I enjoyed the story. For example, it made me wonder what I would do in face of war. However, I'm not sure i support the "imagined" portrayal of a real person. Part of me never wants to buy anything Chanel again, but then it's possible this author has misportrayed Mlle. Chanel. Was she trying to slander Chanel or the company; make excuses for her ;×or just trying to make me feel sympathy for the poor orphan who made something of herself despite horrible circumstances? I'm not sure I support this genre. I'd prefer an autobiography or authorized biography more than putting words into someone's mouth.

3 people found this helpful

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Best book of 2020:)

Loved the narration, the writing and the overall story. That was everything I could want in a book!

3 people found this helpful

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Self centered Coco

If any part of this book is true, then Coco would fit into this arrogant, self centered, narrow minded world. Once again, the rich escape their punishment.

3 people found this helpful