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! [...]