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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Vintage Affair...Review

About the book:
Every dress has a history. And so does every woman.

In Isabel Wolff’s captivating
A Vintage Affair,  a treasured child’s coat becomes a thread of hope connecting two very different women.
Her friends are stunned when Phoebe Swift abruptly leaves a plum job at the prestigious Sotheby’s auction house to open her own vintage clothing shop in London—but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream. In the sunlight-flooded interior of Village Vintage, surrounded by Yves Saint Laurent silk scarves, Vivienne Westwood bustle skirts, cupcake dresses, and satin gowns, Phoebe hopes to make her store the hot new place to shop, even as she deals with two ardent suitors, her increasingly difficult mother, and a secret from her past that casts a shadow over her new venture.

For Phoebe, each vintage garment carries its own precious history. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe is rewarded whenever she finds something truly unique, for she knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread—you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life.

Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of smart suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s sky-blue coat—an item with which Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell—one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again.

Loved this!  I'm not a fashion person.  I'm so far from stylish and fashionable it's hysterical. I have no knowledge of vintage wear, except that some of what I've seen, I like.  But, I devoured this book.  Phoebe Swift, is a terrific character.  She's real and she's likeable.   When she talks about vintage fashion you're captivated.  Every dress has a history, but so does every person and as perfect dresses are discovered, so are secrets.  As secrets are shared, friendships are formed.  As friendships are formed, those secrets help others to let go of their own grief and secret regrets.  The glimpse we get of Mrs. Bell's World War 2 flashbacks are interesting and her story weaves into Phoebe's so well.

Isabel Wolff's descriptions are a vivid feast for the senses and her writing captivating.  Some would call this chick-lit, but it's really so much more.  It should be light and fluffy, but instead it's rich and lustrous.  I absolutely loved this story.  I read it in an evening, straight through. There is some non-marital sex, but we are not privy to any details, thank goodness.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. I just love the cover of that book, so I'm glad to see the book is so good. By the way, I am not fashionable either.

  2. so glad to see how much you liked this book - I have been wanting to read it!

  3. This cover caught my attention a couple of weeks ago. I love anything vintage! I'm glad to see you enjoyed it so much. I will have to read it! Great review!

  4. Would love to read this book,will add to my list. thanks!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful book, even though I'm not into fashion either.

  6. Hey! I just found your blog over at Book Loving Mommy... lovin it so far! I am a new follower. You can check out my blog and follow me back if you want...have a great day!

  7. The cover is lovely and I think this book may just work for me; thanks

  8. I've got my eye out for this book! Thanks for reminding me about it!

  9. I just finished this book last night. I must have put this book on hold back in Oct. and just got it last week.
    I agree 100% with your review. Like you, I know NOTHING about fashion or vintage. But I really enjoyed all the "shop talk". I enjoyed it so much , I just placed another one of her books on hold. Thanks for the review!!