Coco At The Ritz

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

One morn­ing in late August 1944, as World War II draws to a close, Coco Chanel is arrest­ed in her suite at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on charges of trea­son to France, stem­ming from her romance with a Nazi spy.

Her two-hour inter­ro­ga­tion at the Pre­fec­ture of Police offers a grip­ping bat­tle of wits between the famous­ly acer­bic design­er and a hos­tile sol­dier of the Resis­tance, who attacks her as a Ger­man col­lab­o­ra­tor. Flash­back scenes of Chanel’s life dur­ing the Paris Occu­pa­tion explore her moti­va­tions and her betray­al of her Jew­ish part­ners and a close Jew­ish friend.

Though Chanel epit­o­mizes the treach­ery of France dur­ing World War II, at heart this is a nov­el about the choic­es one woman made when the stakes were the high­est and the per­ilous, even dead­ly, consequences
to those around her. In today’s world, a time when anti­semitism and hatred in gen­er­al have explod­ed anew, it’s a cau­tion­ary tale about the neces­si­ty of stand­ing against evil when it stares you – seduc­tive­ly – in the face.

Discussion Questions