My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Coco Swan has always been embarrassed by her name. With a name like Coco, she thinks people expect her to be as exotic and glamorous as the famous designer, not an ordinary-looking small-town antiques dealer who could win an award for living cautiously. But when a vintage Chanel handbag turns up in a box of worthless bric-a-brac, Coco's quiet world is turned upside down. Where did it come from? And is it just coincidence that it's the same bag Coco's late mother always wanted for her? When Coco discovers a mysterious, decades-old letter hidden in the bag's lining, she sets off on a quest to piece together the story behind it, stumbling across secrets that span three generations as she goes. Is the beautiful Chanel bag be about to teach Coco more than she wants to learn? Or will it show her just where her heart can take her if she lets it lead the way?
My Review: Niamh Greene starts the book with a little intro featuring Coco’s Mum and her time in Paris. It’s a brief introduction but enough to get a feel for this free spirited woman. Fast forward and the story begins with the adult Coco, working in her hometown at her family’s Antique store. Within the matter of a few chapters Coco’s grandmother Ruth had stolen my heart. As a widow herself she has become an outspoken and up to date grandmother who insists Coco call her by her Christian name as it’s “less ageing”!
As the two of them attend an auction Coco manages to snag a lot whereby she uncovers a box containing a very valuable bag by her namesake Coco Chanel. This leads to Coco wondering about the owner, and the contents that were hidden inside the bag. The synopsis I know sounds kind of ‘wishy-washy’ but in all honesty that couldn’t be further from the truth.
What unfolds is a story of a young woman desperately trying to gain confidence in both the world and herself. I couldn’t help but get carried away with the mystery of it all, and whether or not the intended recipient would ever get what the bag held. As the story continues Coco becomes more brace and in turn meets more and more people that add to the layers of the story. The story was wonderful but the characters were what made it for me, especially Ruth and Coco. Two wonderful women ;who you just can’t help but hope for the best for them. The ending was a little predictable but not a disappointment in any way, shape or form. Overall it was a fantastic book that transported me just where I wanted to be on the recent cold, wet ands windy days. The perfect escapist book!