Author: Isabel Wolf
Published By: Bantam Books
Date Published: June 29, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended Age: Adults
Reviewed By: Me
I borrowed it from the library
Phoebe Swift owns a boutique dealing with vintage clothing called Village Vintage. She is also dealing with the loss of her best friend and her guilt over the part she played in her friend’s death. While at an elderly Frenchwoman, Thérèse Bell’s apartment looking through old clothes she may buy she comes across a child’s sky-blue coat, an item which Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part with. As she becomes friends with the dying Thérèse, Thérèse tells her the story of why she will never part with the coat. Hearing the tale, Phoebe discovers a connection between herself and Thérèse, one that will heal her own pain and help her to love once again.
I am surprised that I actually like this book. When my book club voted on what book to read this month, I had voted against this book and was disappointed it got majority of the votes. It didn’t seem like a book I would choose to read on my own…a book about clothes, really?
It is well written and easy to read. Yes, it talks a lot about clothes. It talks about the designer, the year the clothing was made and the costs, but it also tells the history of who last wore the dress, pants, or even the accessories like a purse. It seems that some of the clothing gave the women courage to do things they felt they couldn’t do on their own, like blow the whistle on their bosses, or break up with an overbearing and bossy boyfriend. Some of the stories are quite touching such as the story of the Jewish girl during WWII, which has a big part in making the book more interesting for me as I am fascinated by stories of WWII and the plight of the Jewish people during the war. A Vintage Affair is emotionally tugging and I found myself crying towards the end of the book.
I gave A Vintage Affair four stars and a grade of B because I enjoyed the book and found myself actually wanting to finish it, and not dragging my feet, kicking and screaming through it because I had to have it read for my book club. If you like contemporary fiction, I recommend A Vintage Affair by the internationally bestselling author, Isabel Wolff.
Adult Content: Talks about concentration camps from WWII and other forms of death, some sex