A Vintage Affair Paperback – May 18 2010
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"[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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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! [...]
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.
I was not blown away by anything in this novel, yet I don't have anything negative to say. I have a terrible feeling that this book might eventually become unmemorable, but maybe not as I'll likely remember Mrs. Bell's story. It's not usually one you usually find in chick lit.
A Vintage Affair made me smile in spots, but didn't laugh out loud too often, nor did I shed any tears. I did find it a little sappy and predictable in parts, especially those that bought the `cupcake' dresses. Overall, I'm rating this as a 3 star because, although I enjoyed it, I'm not sure I would recommend it over other books.
Most recent customer reviews
It devoured this book.
The story is really well constructed, the characters are likeable, coherent.
It is a fantastic story, a wonderful writing, a pleasure to read. Read more
A nice light fast read. Interesting characters and moves along quickly. Takes place in England with historical references. Not for the serious minded. A vPublished on Nov. 22 2012 by Lori Maw
Chick lit? Yes ... but with a punch.
A secret hidden since WWII comes out ... and the need for kleenex is a result.
Can't wait for her next book.