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The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard - ARC Review

Updated: Feb 1

🤩 Pub Day Book Review 🤩

Title: The Disappearance of Astrid Bricard

Author: Natasha Lester

Publisher: Forever

Genre: Historical Fiction + Mystery

Pub Day: Today 1/30/24

Thank you @readforeverpub for the early arc to read and review. One thing you can count on in author Natasha Lester’s books is immense research always goes into them. This book was no exception. Do not miss her note at the end where she explains fact, fiction, and what characters are real. But, what’s wild is even the fictionalized characters are based on real people. She studied the heck out the fashion industry and each of the time periods she wrote about.

You might say to yourself “Hmmm, I don’t really care about fashion, so this book probably isn’t for me.”  I’ll be honest I don’t care about clothes or labels, myself.  I’m an athleisure wear kinda girl.  But this is what the author has to say…

“How and why are women constantly reshaped by the media into something they aren’t?  And why can women only be the inspiration in the creative process, rather than the creator?  Those questions drove the writing of this book” 🤯

This book really puts a sharp lens on the disadvantages women faced and still face with careers and poor media attention; all while weaving and layering together a mysterious and glamorous story.

Told in three timelines of three mother/daughters.  Our main focus is of fashion icon Astrid in 1973.  She is the daughter of the legendary Mizza Bricard, Christian Dior’s infamous “muse”.  Despite not being raised by her mother, she can’t seem to escape this legacy when she is on scholarship at Parsons fashion school.  There she collides with another designer Hawk Jones and together they are electric.  On the rise and finally scraping  some recognition Astrid disappears at the Versallies designer showdown.

Fast forward to 2012 where we meet Blythe, Astrid’s daughter, who is the remaining Bricard legacy.  She is a designer too, but has come up with the idea to resurrect her mother’s Mizza line.  Ultimately, she really wants to finally take the opportunity to dig into what happened to her mother?

For those of you that want a little more true HF, Mizza's character starts in 1917, but her timeline progresses into the 1940s and WWII and she's put into some interesting situations during the war.

“I thought that if I took myself out of the story, it would end by itself.  But, stories never end—the tellers just find another girl to ruin with words.”

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 My biggest quibble is going to contradict my opening paragraph, but there is maybe too much research here because I think this book is too long!  It’s 455 pages.  Otherwise I really loved it, so when you have the time for a longer book, I highly recommend this one!  Maybe the audio for those of you that fear or struggle with longer books? It moves along and sucks you in! There I go contradicting myself again.

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