Review by Booklist Review
To say the name Gucci is to instantly conjure images of globe-trotting sophistication and gold-dripping wealth. Yet this iconic fashion house has been beset with internecine power struggles, international scandals, incarceration, and murder. Perhaps the most unlikely witness to the rise and fall of this symbol of hedonistic elegance, Patricia Gucci was the illegitimate daughter (made ultimate heir) of Aldo Gucci and Bruna Palombo, a timid shopgirl who captured the married titan's attention and affection. Falling in love at a time when affairs were anathema to success and having a child out of wedlock was a criminal offense, Aldo and Bruna's devotion was the stuff of fairy tales. And, like most fairy tales, it contained a darker side: Bruna's guilt and fear of reprisal, Aldo's megalomaniacal quest for success, and Patricia's isolation and search for identity. With its themes of epic passion, repugnant greed, and nefarious treachery, Gucci's memoir is straight out of Shakespeare, tempered with an innocent love of the ordinary people behind the grandiose myths. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fashionistas will flock to this tell-all, which will receive plenty of play across media outlets.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This intimate memoir by the daughter of Aldo Gucci and his longtime mistress, Bruna, describes growing up in the shadow of the family at the center of the Gucci fashion empire. The memoir charts the love affair of the author's parents and depicts the glitzy lifestyle of a man at the center of the fashion industry in the 1960s. Fashion magnate Aldo, a bon vivant man-about-town in Rome, Milan, and Hollywood, is credited with turning his father's luggage business into a high-end international fashion house. The memoir culminates with Aldo's nephew and lawful sons wresting the business away from him, and his subsequent trial for tax evasion. The most intriguing character, however, is the author's mysterious, conservative mother, a former shop clerk who fell in love with her boss and was loyal to him-raising his (mostly hidden) daughter and keeping his secrets-until his death in 1990. She even tells her young daughter, "In truth, I was a better mother to him than I was to you." This book is particularly successful as a personal story about growing up with the weight of illegitimacy on one's young yet well-dressed shoulders. It is less successful in its idolization of Aldo Gucci, a man whom time-and his own brand, now more often associated with recent creative directors Alessandro Michele and Tom Ford-has mostly forgotten. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Aldo Gucci's daughter writes of the passion between her parents: the wealthy head of a luxury goods purveyor and his longtime companion and mistress, who began working as his secretary. Gucci conveys the pain-and pleasures-of her mother's and her shadowy existence, settles a few scores with her half siblings, and writes movingly of coming to terms with both her parents and herself.-LF © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The heiress to the Italian fashion house unfurls her combustible family history. "A reserved child who'd had to grow up fast," Gucci was born into an elite, high-profile familial legacy. As her candid memoir details, her father Aldo's relationship with her mother, Bruna, was shrouded in secrecy and controversy. The author describes the company's ascent to greatness by way of her grandfather, founder Guccio, and her father, who "transformed his father's small Florentine luggage company into a global phenomenon that came to epitomize Italian chic." Aldo's death in 1990 left Bruna mired in grief, and her relationship with Patricia slipped deeper into estrangement. Yet two decades later, saddled with two failed marriages, the author began writing as a cathartic attempt to both connect the missing pieces of her parents' complex romance and to afford Aldo his "rightful place in history." Referencing a cache of her father's love letters to her mother, the author explores the precarious evolution of their illicit courtship, from their budding attraction when Bruna was a teenage Gucci salesgirl in Rome to the author's hushed birth (Aldo was already married with children, and Italian law forbade adultery). Treating Bruna as his common-law wife, Aldo raised his daughter lovingly if sporadically, shuffling her between England and Italy. Gucci describes him differently at alternating points throughout the memoir. As a fashion figurehead, he was a "trailblazing businessman of extraordinary dynamism," yet as a father, he was the infrequently present "handsome daddy with the ready smile and distinctive cologne who flew in and out of our lives with a blast of movement and noise." As solemn as many of her memories are, Gucci imparts these emotions with impassioned, poetic prose that buffers much of the hollowness of her restless childhood. Once jailed for tax evasion, Aldo watched the business suffer through tragedy and further familial betrayal as his daughter struggled to emerge from a cloistered life in the shadows of a fashion empire. An absorbing, bittersweet tribute. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.