Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
Genre: Adult contemporary fiction/chick lit
Aboutness: Personal style, life experiences, social and psychological aspects of clothing
Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro tells the story of how Louise Canova manages to free herself from the stultifying cocoon of a passion-less marriage with the help of a little grey book about style that she discovers in a second-hand bookshop.
The book, which bears the same name as the title of Tessaro’s novel, is written by one Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux and actually exists. The author happened to come across the book in, yes, you guessed it, a second-hand bookstore and incorporated it into Louise’s journey of self-discovery. On another level, Elegance is a cleverly constructed investigation of how clothing and preconceived notions about clothing can affect a person’s mental and emotional interpretation of, and approach to, the world.
Elegance is also about interpreting, experimenting and ultimately moving away from a prescribed set of theoretical rules – in this case, the rules of personal style and etiquette as laid down by Madame Antoine Dariaux – towards a genuine and comfortable expression of one’s own unique personality.
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