My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she’s stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation.
Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure, middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior.
Realising his genius, Copper urges Dior to strike out on his own, helping to pull him away from his insecurities and towards stardom. With just a camera and a typewriter, she takes her own advice and ventures into the wild and colourful world of fashion journalism.
Soon Copper finds herself torn between two very different suitors, questioning who she is and what she truly wants. As the city rebuilds and opulence returns, can Copper make a new, love-filled life for herself?
The book took me by surprise, at first I thought this would be the usual woman finds herself and has to choose between two men. But, yeah Copper does leave her husband after he has one affair too many, but after that, her life takes a pretty drastic turn as she tries to fulfill her dream as a journalist. Her friendship with Dior is a strong point in her life and I loved how to book introduced all the bohemian artist, painters writers, etc. that are living in Paris at the time. A lot of name dropping (in a good way) and I love how Copper embraces the bohemian world. And, there is love waiting around the corner, two very different people enter her life and both stir feeling inside her. But, who will win her heart? Or rather, will she sacrifice her new-won freedom she gained after her divorce? I was engrossed in the story and I really enjoyed reading about Copper's life in Paris.
The Designer is a fabulous book. I loved reading about Paris after the liberation, how the city slowly tries to return to normal after the occupations. But, there is unrest in the city and collaborators are frowned and often roughly treated.And, the war is yet over. This part of the book, everything going on that concerns the war added a deeper layer to the story. The Germans may have left the city, but the memory of their occupations is a deep wound.