Gigi by Colette

Delicious, charming and sophisticated…A fantastic little novella full of powerful persuasion.

Any novel that has the power to transport me to a different time, place or era is a novel guaranteed to win my heart and Gigi by Colette is certainly no exception. Set in Paris in 1899 Gigi is the story of a young girl on the cusp of womanhood charged with the responsibility of becoming a fine Parisian courtesan.

Mainly ignored by her apathetic mother, Gigi is raised by the eccentric aunt and grandmother, two women equal in their obsession of the politics of coupling. In their eyes society is a mind field of potholes and trap doors that Gigi must be skilfully guided through.

She must learn the correct way of eating lobster, the appropriate way to address a man in order to effect the perfect balance of indifference and seduction. She must learn the correct jewels to wear, the times to wear them and how and when to smoke a cigar.

But Gigi is luminous in her innocence and causes no end of grief and despair to the ladies in her life who cannot fathom her poor grasp of society and it’s intricate rules. While this novella may come in on the light side being a mere fifty or so pages it certainly does not lack in it’s

The wonderful Colette

abundance of humour or wit. Indeed Gigi’s aunt and grandmother are a never-ending source of amusement in their desperate attempts to install in their protégé a sense of the Persian courtesan they desperately desire her to be.

 Colette encapsulates perfectly Gigi’s innocence and reluctance to cross a threshold into a world see she’s as being ripe with scandal, gossip, and heartache. When a wealthy and sought after society man makes her the object of his affections Gigi is at first oblivious to his desires. Her inability to note his wanting makes her all the more incredibly dear and charming; a character impossible not to adore.

 I wont spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t read this fantastic little novella but if you’re looking for a story to while away an afternoon with then this book is perfect. Prepare to be dazzled by the powerfully evocative world that Colette creates which is painted with vivid strokes of brilliance.

Have you read anything else by Colette? Or indeed have you read Gigi? I will be reading The Cat next which was also included in this book. This is my first encounter with Colette but I don’t think it will be the last.



6 thoughts on “Gigi by Colette

    • I really enjoyed it, it was surprising how much I managed to become so absorbed in the book even though it was so short. My only complaint with short stories is that they end so soon and I want them to go on longer. On the flip side though you can read so many more stories!

      I’ll bring this one to the next book group.

  1. O and it is Klimt, do you like it? I fancied something different. There were some other amazing forest pictures but they didn’t upload very well. Do you like Klimt?

  2. I’m not really aware of Schiele but will check him out. Ha I know short stories are short but don’t you find that a bit frustrating? I loved Gigi and how vivid a picture the writer managed to create in such a short space of time, but I was still gutted when it ended. I didn’t feel I got long enough with the characters or story.

    Room is amazing. I reviewed it a while back and couldn’t stop singing it’s praises. It’s very different to Room in that I think Room is immediately gratifying but Annabel for me had a loner lasting impression on my feelings. Both great books though, glad you like it.

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