Chanel Bonfire

Chanel Bonfire

by Wendy Lawless
4.0 21

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Chanel Bonfire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
srkromer More than 1 year ago
Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless is a refreshingly honest yet horrifically heartbreaking memoir.  Chanel Bonfire is a powerful memoir focusing on Wendy’s childhood which was riddled with emotional abuse and neglect from her mother.  This heartbreaking story will capture your heart and attention and won’t let go until you reach the conclusion. Wendy Lawless and her sister, Robin, had a childhood that no child should have to live through.  Their mother was a drunk who endlessly played the victim.  She had many tumultuous affairs which eventually led to a nervous breakdown which she would take out on her children, lock herself in her bedroom for weeks on end wearing a blue nightie, attempt suicide, and ultimately led the family to relocate to another high society area.  Wendy was the protector of the family.  She tried to shield her sister from the harsh realities of their childhood.  Can Wendy and her sister get out from under the power of their mother? It is hard to imagine the life that these children were dealt and that no one did anything to help them.  Even though they led a life a luxury, the horrors that hid behind the door make no one envy them.  This is a powerful memoir showcasing the life one can lead after breaking the chains of abuse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could't put channel bonfire down until I had finished it.. a memoir of a very difficult childhood told with verve and humour and love from the perspectIve of a healthy happy adulthood. Bravo,.ms ordered
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A true tale of one of the all-time worst mothers ever! It makes one wonder how many children are dealing with (and hiding) a horrible home life. As is true of many memoirs, this book moves quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW! A heart breaking, at times hilarious and very powerful memoir of growing up with a totally dysfunctional mother. Anyone who has had a childhood touched by emotional or alcohol abuse should read this. Wendy is speaking for many and I thank her getting this out in a very well written book.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Audio mp3 Version:  Narrated by the author, this is a look at the spirit of a survivor and a testament to the power of resilience of the human spirit.  Through a series of incredibly dark moments, Lawless manages to convey the utter helplessness of two young children caught in the miasma of their mother’s mental illness.   From the outside: they are wealthy, fortunate, well-educated and are granted many privileges that  were unique to the time and the setting.  Behind closed doors they were treated to manipulations, drunken ramblings, a series of strange men and their mother’s ever-increasing fixation with being adored and worshipped at every step.  What they didn’t realize, as children never do, is that none of their mother’s erratic behaviour or hateful actions was something they could change or take blame for.   While recounting stories that are horrifyingly specific in their detail, Lawless manages to show the core of strength and coping mechanisms that they developed as children: with insertions of pure joy in the sister’s interactions and a dark humor that threads throughout the tale.  Even in the worst moments, her voicing is clear and distinct, with a sense of intonation and inflection that are specific to the three major characters in the story, and present without an over-reach of emotional inflections: the words alone convey the emotions with a clarity that is unique.  It is an interesting study in motivation: what makes one person more or better suited for a certain career path, and just how differing personalities react to the constant stress that would break many.  As the girls mature and grow, they find that they cannot force, encourage nor even blackmail their mother into receiving the help she so desperately needs, and that no matter what they give, they will never fill the empty black hole of her soul.  One cannot help but feel fear, anger and shock on behalf of the children as the story is told: but that quickly turns to admiration as they are standing tall and setting their own paths, despite the repeated attempts to be drawn back into the miasma that was their childhood.  Not an easy book to read/listen to: but the messages contained within are positive for those who choose to seek them.  Most of all, Lawless and her sister are productive, functional and successful women despite their unconventional and often traumatic childhood.  I received an mp3 version of the audio book from Tantor Media via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word at I am, Indeed.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written book that easily retains your attention. Tragic story but interesting to read how some women during that decade treated their children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read. Highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! Read it in one day!
love_ashleyw More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book was excellent. Her stories of her life growing up are compelling - I didn't want to put it down. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW!!! This book is heart breaking!!! I literally could not stop reading this memior. What an awful childhood! The memoir included a missing father, an alcoholic and crazy mother, a beloved sister, lots of money, moving a lot, and a lot of scary events while growIng up. Highly recommended!!! This book deserves an A++++++++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BeckaMarsch More than 1 year ago
Chanel Bonfire takes you through the eyes of the author, as she grows up in a dysfunctional household. The autobiography, that reads more like a novel, takes you through her childhood into adulthood. You live her trials and tribulations, her good times and bad. Wendy decided at a very young age to never become the victim, and always made the best of life. This book makes you think about your own life, the good and bad. I suggest this book to every one who asks about book suggestions! I guarantee you will want to read it more than once. (I have!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ended it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mshoni More than 1 year ago
I find memoirs of offbeat childhoods fascinating and Chanel Bonfire is just that. Wendy Lawless realized early on that her mother, Georgann, wasn't like most other parents. She had no interest in domesticity, child rearing especially, and felt that she deserved a more glamorous life than she had. As her mother moved Wendy and her sister with her from man to man and city to city, convincing them that their father didn't want them, they had to grow up quickly, as children in this situation often do. It becomes apparent as you read about their adventures, including living in New York, London, & Morocco, that Georgann's eccentricity may really hide mental illness. Wendy goes back and forth from relishing in the freedom an uninterested parent affords to needing to protect her mother from herself and set boundaries for their relationship. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had to force myself to finish this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems that Madame Chanel had her version of events and then there was the truth, the author also did not keep the story in sequence which Ifound a little confusing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I became so bored with this book I finally gave up and did not finish it.