It is 1957. As Daphne du Maurier wanders alone through her remote mansion on the Cornish coast, she is haunted by thoughts of her failing marriage and the legendary heroine of her most famous novel, Rebecca, who now seems close at hand. Seeking distraction, she becomes fascinated by Branwell, the reprobate brother of the Brontë sisters, and begins a correspondence with the enigmatic scholar Alex Symington in which truth and fiction combine. Meanwhile, in present day London, a lonely young woman struggles with her thesis on du Maurier and the Brontës and finds herself retreating from her distant husband into a fifty-year-old literary mystery...
Justine Picardie has spent the last decade puzzling over the truth about Coco Chanel, attempting to peel away the accretions of romance and lies. In this critically acclaimed, bestselling biography she shares the history of the incredible woman who created the way we look now.
Coco Chanel was an extraordinary inventor - she conjured up the little black dress, bobbed hair, trousers for women, contemporary chic, best-selling perfumes, and the most successful fashion brand of all time - but she also invented herself, fashioning the myth of her own life with the same dexterity as her couture.
While Chanel was supreme innovator and vendor of all things elegant and beautiful, what lies beneath her own glossy myth is far darker. Throwing new light on her passionate and turbulent relationships, this beautifully constructed portrait gives a fresh and penetrating look at how Coco Chanel made herself into her own most powerful creation.
Justine Picardie brings the mysterious Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding, to celebrate her great achievements. She examines Chanel's enduring afterlife, as well as her remarkable life, uncovering the consequences of what she covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and legend, yet keeping intact the real fabric of her past.
With an introduction by Andrew O'Hagan
When I think about her now, which is most of the time, it's like rewinding a silent film in my head: I see the crucial scenes in our lives together. But what I can't hear is her voice in my head, and that silence is driving me crazy.After her sister Ruth's death from breast cancer in September 1997, Justine Picardie was desperate to speak to her again, to hear her voice, to find something - anything - that might fill the space she had left behind. Over the course of the next year, Justine's search for Ruth lead her into the underworld of spiritualism, through a series of encounters with mediums and psychics who believe that we can communicate with those we have lost.
If the Spirit Moves You is Justine's remarkable story about her search for the afterlife in an age of reason, scepticism and science. Powerfully moving, both heart-breaking and funny, it is an extraordinary classic about the exhausting journey of grief and the enduring power of love.
In this absolutely unique treasure trove of fashion, family memoir and literature, Justine Picardie tells a sequence of stories that reveal the fabric of the past, and how a family has fashioned itself through the clothes that they have worn: from her mother’s black wedding dress to her first party frock, a translucent winged fairy outfit that provided an early lesson in what we uncover, and what we cover up. She also tells of her encounters with fashion designers – Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace, among others; conversations with supermodels, and her search for Charlotte Bronte's ring. My Mother's Wedding Dress unravels why we care so much about clothes - the white satin and feathers and little black dresses with which we armour ourselves; the material of our lives. Above all, it is Justine Picardie's inimitable voice and thought-provoking quest for answers to her own past that make this book so special. ‘An enticing combination of autobiography, biography, memoir, discourse, interviews, fashion notes, and dreams… a sparky and original book’ Daily Mail ‘Highly stylish and unusual, a selection of swatches that works as a whole’ Sunday Telegraph
Kate Linden is a 35 year old single mother, who dreams of a rosy future with a dream man who will love both her and her son Sam. But while she's waiting for the arrival of that unknown saviour, she finds herself entangled with her handsome, domineering cousin Julian, the son of her dead mother's twin sister. As she returns to Julian's childhood home in Norfolk for a family weekend, Kate is drawn back into the mysteries that haunt her. What was the truth of the relationship between her mother and Julian's father? Who was responsible for her mother's death in a car crash? How will the patterns of that dark past repeat themselves, or can she escape them? Justine Picardie writes with a clear, beautiful voice about family intrigues and intricacies. WISH I MAY is a story about the shadows cast by the past, but also of a sustaining hope for the future, and the magical transformations of love. 'A seductive tale about secrets and the ghosts of childhood' Independent 'A beautiful, elegiac and intensely readable novel. Justine Picardie writes very movingly about the bonds between the living and the dead, the horrors and rewards of family life, and one woman's search for happiness' Zoe Heller