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. 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, author Gioia Diliberto’s novel is 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 general hatred seem to be exploding anew, Coco at the Ritz presents a cautionary tale about the necessity of standing against evil when it stares you, even seductively, right in the face.
Includes book signing and reception.
Gioia Diliberto will be interviewed by Izzi Abrams, past president of JCCNS, librarian, and book group moderator.