Friday, 6 September 2013

Coco's Secret by Niamh Greene

Named after famous fashion designer Coco Chanel, Irish small-town girl Coco Swan always feels she isn't living up to the exotic expectations of her glamorous namesake. She leads an ordinary life as an antiques dealer with her grandmother. 

At an auction, she ends up with the surprise find of a vintage Chanel handbag which turns her normal little life upside down. This is exactly the sort of bag her late mother would have wanted her to own. 

An old letter hidden inside the bag then puts Coco on a mission to find out where the bag came from and along the way uncovers secrets from the mystery owner’s past and also learns more of her own family’s secrets. 

This book hooks you in with the simple premise of finding the precious bag’s owner, but the journey that Coco and also the reader end up on is much more complex and riveting. As clues are solved and more questions arise, it makes you thirst for the answers that are only pages away. I adored Coco’s grandmother Ruth; a woman who knows what she wants and who guides and prompts Coco to live a little more. 

I've read a fair few Irish authors, Marian Keyes being one of my favourites, and I thought that this book was another fun and heart warming tale that reflects the nature of Ireland. The prose is easy to follow, funny in parts and sensitive when it needed to be. Coco’s Secret is a mystery book of sorts. Not of the crime variety but one that uncovers the truth about family, love and secrets that can span generations. 

I really liked the idea of the vintage bag being hidden and then found by fate. I like to think that if I found a hidden letter in a long lost bag, that I would try and learn its history just as Coco does here. Overall I found Coco’s Secret to be an endearing and delightful read. 

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