Monday, December 9, 2013

#BookReview: A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

Every item in a vintage shop has a history.  Phoebe loves to imagine how the owner of an item originally looked in it or what inspired her to buy it.  As a buyer for other stores, Phoebe dreamed of opening her own shop and her dreams have just come true.  She's just opened a small shop called Vintage Village and, thanks to a story by a local start up paper, there's been no shortage of customers.

Isabel Wolff manages to combine quite a few story lines, all revolving around Phoebe, in one book.  There's Phoebe's romantic involvement with an older gentleman that I don't think anyone, including me, cares for except Phoebe.  There's Phoebe's budding friendship with a man I think she should have been with from the moment they met.  And there's a huge dose of historical fiction courtesy of Phoebe's friendship with Therese, an older woman who sells some of her personal items to Phoebe for the shop.

Vintage Village seems like such a happy place. Young girls come in and find the perfect dresses.  Men find cuff links just like the ones they admired as children.  Phoebe's friendship with Therese and Therese's life story seem to be in direct contrast with the rest of the book.  Though it's informative, it just doesn't seem to fit well with the book.  And, honestly, after reading the chipper stories of others that pass through the doors of the shop, it was depressing.

Overall, this is an entertaining read/listen.  This, coupled with another book I've recently read on vintage shops, makes me want to check out a few in my area.   I was just thrown by the author's obvious desire to make what started out as chick lit historical fiction instead. 

Listening time: 12 hours and 11 minutes
Published: January 2009

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