Sterlingcindysu's Reviews > Elegance

Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
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's review
Mar 05, 2012

liked it
Read in March, 2012

I really liked the premise of the book. Louise finds a book from the '50's about "elegance", how to dress, how to act, how to live. Tessaro interweaves sections of the book (alphabetically, "H is for Husbands") with the story. There's an actual book she uses for this. Whenever I see something like this, about not wearing black before noon and usage of gloves, the first reaction any woman has is--what use is it for today? And Tessaro answers that nicely. The plot and characters weren't all that, and I wish Louisa's mother-in-law (which the book opens) had a bigger role. It's great to read when you don't want to make the effort. As the phrase goes, "some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you, but always get dressed for the hunt." (copied review) Unhappy with her looks, her life, and her empty marriage, Louise Canova needs help — and she finds it in a secondhand bookstore. A forty-year-old encyclopedia of style titled Elegance, this slim volume by formidable French fashion expert Madame Dariaux promises to transform even the plainest of women into creatures of poise and grace. It is a fairy godmother in print, an A-to-Z manual with essential advice that Louise vows to take to heart. But within its pages lie not only clues from her past, but also powerful lessons for the future. And as the old Louise gives way to the stunning new, she's about to find out that there's more to every life than what appears on the surface ... and that everything, even elegance, has its price.

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