Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Review: A Vintage Affair

Book Details
Title: A Vintage Affair
Author: Isabel Wolff
2010, Bantam
ISBN: 978-0553807837

From the Cover:
Every dress has a history, so does Phoebe. Phoebe always dreamt of opening her own vintage dress shop. She imagined every detail, from the Vivienne Westwood bustiers hanging next to satin gowns, to sequinned cupcake dresses adorning the walls. At the launch of Village Vintage, Phoebe feels the tingle of excitement as customers snap up the fairytale dresses. Her dream has come true, but a secret from her past is casting a shadow over her new venture. Then one day she meets Therese, an elderly Frenchwoman with a collection to sell, apart from one piece that she won't part with. As Therese tells the story of the little blue coat, Phoebe feels a profound connection with her own life, one that will help her heal the pain of her past and allow her to love again.

My Review
This was a very good book. It is set in current day England. I thought it had a good plot and kind of kept you guessing at what was going to be revealed about Phoebe's past and also Therese. A few times I thought I knew what was going to happen, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

I did feel like there were a lot of characters to keep track of. There are her two present love interests as well as another from the past. Her family, customers who come into the store, co-workers, etc and they all tend to be intertwined and have their own stories at the same time.

There is a lot of fun discussion about vintage clothing and famous designers. Phoebe is always buying new vintage pieces for her store, whether locally or travelling to France and learning the stories behind those pieces.

The whole story really centers around her best friend Emma, who has died. Phoebe feels responsible for her death, and the book is really her journey to come to grips with what has happened to herself and her friend through this tragedy - and whether she really was responsible in the end. You also hear the story of the elderly Frenchwoman, Therese, who recounts her story from WWII France and her Jewish friend.

I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and fun. Although it revolved around a tragedy, it wasn't a sad book. I would definitely recommend it. =)

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