An absolutely adorable debut novel from Susan Gloss, Vintage is the kind of book you’ll enjoy whether you’re sitting in the house on a rainy day or on the beach soaking up some sun. Gloss’ use of descriptive language brings to life the women and the city of Madison, Wisconsin. At times I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t want it to end and I’m desperately clinging to the hope that the book will become a series.
The owner of the shop that’s the focus of Vintage is Violet Turner. Always on hand to lend a listening ear to customers and friends, Violet has seen her fair share of disappointments. Coming to Madison and opening Hourglass Vintage has been a goal of hers for so long. The threat of losing it looms over her head like a dark cloud, along with the reappearance of her abusive ex-husband. It doesn’t stop her from opening her heart to others in need though.
April Morgan was on her way to college when she was waylaid by an unexpected pregnancy and death in the family. She finds refuge in Hourglass Vintage and a friend in Violet. I loved that Gloss didn’t try to turn April and Violet’s friendship into a mother-daughter thing, but instead made it more like a big sister-little sister relationship. Like younger sisters, April doesn’t always want to take Violet’s advice and, at times, thinks she knows better. So while their relationship is rocky at times, it’s realistic.
Amithi Singh’s story line is the most interesting to me because she starts as a shop customer and becomes much more. As things in her personal life start to slip, Amithi comes out of her shell and grows into womanhood, even though she has an adult daughter herself. Her dreams have always been put on the back burner for her husband and she’s taken a back seat most of her life, but as she sheds remnants of her old life, she comes through for Violet in amazing ways that surprise even her.
I loved the overarching theme of friendship among women and their commitment to helping each other through their personal struggles. Violet is the central thread and she reaches out to those around her and makes differences in their lives whether she’s know them for five minutes or five years. I’d love to know what happens next with these characters.
Published: March 2014
Disclosure: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.
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