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Elegance | Kathleen Tessaro | Reviewed by Ria

Elegance-cover
Louise Canova is stuck in a rut. 30-year-old Louise is sick of her dull marriage, sick of being fat, sick of her wardrobe and sick of her life. On the brink of a mid-life existential crisis, she finds a book, not just any book…a book that may solve all of her problems.
That book is an encyclopaedia, written by French fashion expert Madame Dariaux, called 'Elegance' and it becomes Louise’s manual for transformation into the Audrey Hepburn/Jackie O/Grace Kelly figure she always wanted to be.
Through the A-Z pages we follow Louise’s ‘transformation’, flashing back to significant moments in her life, her struggles to follow the guide and the consequences and price of changing everything about herself.

So what’s my verdict?
It’s no surprise that I picked up this book. The premise of someone transforming themselves by improving their style and pose is something I’m a sucker for no matter what the medium. But Louise’s transformation certainly isn’t easy. She hurts both herself and those around herself, yet still stands by the book and everything it preaches. She does come to her senses towards the end and like every good chick-lit, there’s a happy-ish ending for all.  ‘Elegance’ taps into that insecurity within each of us through Louise and with the moral of the ‘be careful what you wish for’ attitude.
The book itself won’t change the literary world but I definitely enjoyed reading it. Louise is bumbling – certainly not the most poised person in the world – and her antics are certainly cringe-worthy. It was ‘Elegance’ itself that really fascinated me though. The book Louise picks up is a real A-Z written over 40 years ago by Madame Dariaux herself and after reading Tessaro’s story I was tempted to pick it up for myself. Tessaro manages the mix of both humour and drama, much in the same way Kinsella and Wiesberger, and I’d say this is a much read for any fashion blogger like myself!
Elegance-inside

Reading soundtrack:
Foundations: Kate Nash; A Change Would Do You Good:  Sheryl Crow; Dress You Up: Madonna; Puttin’ On The Ritz: Fred Astaire; Grace Kelly: Mika; Change: Taylor Swift

For lovers of…Sophie Kinsella, Bridget Jones’ Diary, The Devil Wears Prada and the sartorially inclined.

This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

*all images (c) Ria Cagampang

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