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A Vintage Affair [Paperback]

Isabel Wolff
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 13.99
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Book Description

May 10 2010
Phoebe's dream of opening her own vintage dress shop finally comes true -- but the shadow of her past still lingers. When she meets Thérèse, an elderly Frenchwoman with a collection to sell, and learns the story behind the little blue coat that she won’t part with, 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.

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Product Description


"[V]ivid detail; brilliantly well-drawn characters abound and the vintage bits very well researched. It really is full of quite fascinating stuff.I hate to admit it, but I had a few tears in my eyes at the end. Read this is you're in need of a serious feelgood factor." --Sara Lawrence, Daily Mail


"Funny, charming, upbeat and unputdownable." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sweet Affair Aug. 7 2009
I agree with another reviewer on here that this book will do well just based on its eye-catching cover - and indeed, my favourite scenes in 'A Vintage Affair' surrounded protagonist Phoebe's new business venture as a vintage dress shop owner. However, the story is much more complex and layered than that - it is a story of guilt, redemption, regret, memories, family, love, doubt, fear, and all those other roiling emotions to make for a multi-faceted book.

I think the true message in the story is about how the past - while valuable, as demonstrated in Phoebe's love for vintage clothing and the stories each piece tells - needs to be in the past. You can't dwell or beat yourself up over what's happened, or you'll never move forward.

Overall I enjoyed that this book never tried to be too much of any one thing. It wasn't trying to be a cheesy British rom com chick lit, nor was it trying to be an over-the-top sympathetic tale of wartime tragedy (which majorly comes into play through the stories of one of Phoebe's customers). It was simply a slice of life about the vintage clothing industry (fun) and the emotional baggage we all tend to wear, whether we want to or not.

Sometimes the writing was a tad oversimplified, particularly the dialogue. Sometimes you wanted the story to just kind of focus on one element rather than jumping all over the place on different themes. But in general it was entertaining and a breath of fresh air in the way it combined so many themes and storylines.

As an aside, I found a cute video about vintage fashion on the publisher's website - check it out if you enjoy the vintage dress scenes as much as I did! [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Friends are Forever July 27 2009
By Heather Pearson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Her best friend has died, she's broken her engagement, and now Phoebe Swift has opened a vintage clothing shop.
Shortly before her shop opens, she is interviewed by Dan for the newspaper 'The Black & Green'. He is an interesting fellow, though Phoebe notes that he has a rather poor sense of colour for a man writing a fashion article.
While attending a textile auction she meets Miles Archant, who is bidding against her for a Madame Gres dress.
A fourth major character to enter the story is Therese Bell, a 79 year old French woman, from Avignon, who calls Phoebe to sell her some of her own vintage clothing.
These 4 characters: Phoebe, Dan, Miles and Mrs. Bell form the basis of the story. I loved learning their personal histories, particularly that of Mrs. Bell and her little blue coat.
Dan's odd sense of colour endeared him to me further. To me it spoke wonderful volumes about his honesty and goodness. Each time Phoebe went to visit Mrs. Bell, I wanted to run and make tea and hug the book to me so that I could feel as though I was part of their conversation. Having lost my best friend a while back, I desperately wanted something good to come from their friendship.
I loved this book. Phoebe's loss of Emma was heart rending, but her finding solace in her new business and new friends rang true with me as was her continuing avoidance of her ex-fiance Guy. Isabel Wolff has written a lovely book that will appeal to a wide range of women and their best friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the genre Sept. 16 2010
By Samantha TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fashion nor romance interest me in the least but I found this book an interesting change of pace. I found myself turning the pages easily. I sometimes got a bit confused by the sheer number of character names, and some complicated story lines that weren't fully developed, but it didn't really phase me much. There was a holocaust back story that felt a bit like a contrived device to make it a deeper story but Wolff managed to integrate it into the story pretty well. I would read another of her books when in need of an undemanding escape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love fashion you will love this book! Sept. 11 2010
As a student in fashion design, I found myself picking up this novel a few years ago and purchassing it. What I didn't expect was, an amazing story behind the clothes. I loved the book! It's my favorite book out of all the books I've read!
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