Publisher: Faber & Faber

#BookReview Miss Dior by Justine Picardie @JPicardie @FaberBooks @PGCBooks #MissDior #JustinePicardie

#BookReview Miss Dior by Justine Picardie @JPicardie @FaberBooks @PGCBooks #MissDior #JustinePicardie Title: Miss Dior

Author: Justine Picardie

Published by: Faber & Faber on Oct. 18, 2021

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Miss Dior is a story of freedom and fascism, beauty, and betrayal, roses and repression, and how the polished surface of fashion conceals hidden depths.

It paints a portrait of the enigmatic woman behind the designer Christian Dior: his beloved younger sister Catherine, who inspired his most famous perfume and shaped his vision of femininity. Justine Picardie”s journey takes her to Occupied Paris, where Christian honed his couture skills while Catherine dedicated herself to the French Resistance, until she was captured by the Gestapo and deported to the German concentration camp of Ravensbrück.

With unparalleled access to the Dior family homes and archives, Picardie”s research into Catherine”s courageous life shines a new light on Christian Dior”s legendary work, and reveals how his enchanting ”New Look” emerged out of the shadows of his sister”s suffering.

Tracing the wartime paths of the Dior siblings leads Picardie deep into other hidden histories, and different forms of resistance and sisterhood. She explores what it means to believe in beauty and hope, despite our knowledge of darkness and despair, and discovers the timeless solace of the natural world in the aftermath of devastation and destruction. The result is an exquisite and unforgettably moving book.


Review:

Captivating, descriptive, and well researched!

Miss Dior is the sincere, informative biography of the remarkable Caroline Dior, the youngest sister of renowned fashion designer Christian Dior who, after falling in love with a married resistance leader in 1941, spent the next three years reporting to British Intelligence on German operations until July 1944 when she was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Ravensbrück and other satellite concentration camps before returning to Paris, after surviving a death march in April 1945, where for the remainder of her life she rarely spoke of the horrors she had endured but surrounded herself with her brother’s love and the flowers she adored.

The writing is evocative and expressive. The characters are humble, heroic, and unique. And the novel is an engaging look into how two siblings in a time of upheaval and uncertainty, one in the spotlight and the other in the shadows, made a resounding impact on French history and the world of fashion.

Overall, Miss Dior is a candid, intriguing tale by Picardie with an abundance of beautiful photos and illustrations, and even though I would have liked to learn more specifically about the life of the woman who inspired the perfume, I still found it an insightful, fascinating tale of not only second-hand accounts of the times, events, and situations she would have faced, but the ultimate evolution and rise of the House of Dior and the incredible array of infamous people who over the years have been lucky enough to don their couture.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.

                

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Justine Picardie

Justine Picardie is the author of six books, including her critically acclaimed memoir, If the Spirit Moves You: Life and Love After Death, and the international bestseller, Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life. She is a contributing editor to Harper''s Bazaar, having previously been its editor-in-chief. She was formerly an investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, a columnist for the Telegraph, editor of the Observer Magazine and features director of Vogue.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Crushed by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer @FaberBooks @PGCBooks

#BookReview Crushed by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer @FaberBooks @PGCBooks Title: Crushed

Author: Kate Hamer

Published by: Faber & Faber on Jun. 7, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.


Review:

Gloomy, tragic, and consuming!

Crushed is an ominous, gritty, character-driven tale that takes you into the lives of three teenage friends, Phoebe, Orla, and Grace, as they each struggle to find some semblance of control, power, and love in a life littered with dysfunction, self-destruction, insecurities, and lack of affection.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are vulnerable, damaged, and impulsive. And the plot is a slow-burning, immersive tale full of life, loss, deception, desperation, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, emerging sexuality, abuse, violence, and murder.

Overall, Crushed is a dark, eerie, astute, coming-of-age tale by Hamer that does a remarkable job of delving into the complex dynamics between friends and family and highlights just how parasitic and toxic some of those relationships can truly be.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Hamer

Kate Hamer's third novel CRUSHED is published in May 2019 (Faber & Faber). She is the author of THE DOLL FUNERAL (Faber & Faber 2017) which was a Bookseller book of the month and an editor's pick for Radio 4's Open Book. Her first novel THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT has been translated into 18 different languages. It was shortlisted for The Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, The John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger and the Wales Book of the Year. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. She grew up in the west country and rural Pembrokeshire and now lives with her husband in Cardiff.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.