A Novel

Book - 2003
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Louise C. wants what Jackie O had ...

Unhappy with her looks, her life, and her empty marriage, Louise Canova needs help -- and she finds it in a secondhand bookstore. A forty-year-old encyclopedia of style titled Elegance, this slim volume by formidable French fashion expert Madame Dariaux promises to transform even the plainest of women into creatures of poise and grace. It is a fairy godmother in print, an A-to-Z manual with essential advice that Louise vows to take to heart. But within its pages lie not only clues from her past, but also powerful lessons for the future. And as the old Louise gives way to the stunning new, she's about to find out that there's more to every life than what appears on the surface ... and that everything, even elegance, has its price.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2003
ISBN: 9781554681778
Branch Call Number: TESS
Characteristics: 308 p


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Jul 22, 2015

Although its well written, its a really depressing book. It put me in a rather down mood just to read it, so gave up 2/3 of the way through. Everyone in the protagonist's life judges and criticizes her, and it gets tiring reading it page after page.

Oct 11, 2014

This was an interesting book. I loved how it was based on and had quotations from a real beauty self-help book called 'A guide to Elegance'. On the other hand, I did not like that Louise suggested the Ritz for her second date with Oliver. The way Tessaro set this scene was really well done, and I know that this scene was important for a later part in the book, but a second date? I don't think you guys know each other that well yet. On another note, Louise rejected Eddie way too many times. He was clearly in love with her, so I don't think realistically that she would have. How was he still interested in her after that? Overall, Louise's character was really well developed in this book. I especially love Colin's nickname for her, 'Ouise-y'.



jeanner222 Sep 22, 2012

Unhappy with her marriage, her career, and herself, Louise Canova strikes gold when she finds Elegance at a secondhand bookstore. A slim volume written by Madame Dariaux, Elegance promises to change Louise’s life from A to Z.

Suddenly, the frumpy thirty-something can no longer bear what’s been weighing her down most—her husband. Moving out, losing weight, and finding fashion are just part of Louise’s transformation.

While it’s really not a lighthearted novel, I did enjoy Elegance. It’s not chick-lit, at least by my definition, but it would appeal to readers of that genre.

May 02, 2011

I've read this more than once. The main character Louise learns important lessons about herself, about life and personal growth. As her self-esteem builds her views on other people deepen. When she starts to respect herself she starts to respect other people.


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FavouriteFiction Sep 29, 2009

Louise Canova finds a book called Elegance written by a French fashion expert Madame Dariaux. It is a guide to style that gives advice on husbands, friends, clothing and style and promises to turn plain women into graceful ones. Following the advice in the book Louise learns some surprising lessons.

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