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Every dress has a history. And so does every woman. In Isabel Wolff’s captivating A Vintage Affair, a treasured child’s coat becomes a thread of hope connecting two very different women. Her friends are stunned when Phoebe Swift abruptly leaves a plum job at the prestigious Sotheby’s auction house to open her own vintage clothing shop in London—but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream. In the sunlight-flooded interior of Village Vintage, surrounded by Yves Saint Laurent silk scarves, Vivienne Westwood bustle skirts, cupcake dresses, and satin gowns, Phoebe hopes to make her store the hot new place to shop, even as she deals with two ardent suitors, her increasingly difficult mother, and a secret from her past that casts a shadow over her new venture.For Phoebe, each vintage garment carries its own precious history. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe is rewarded whenever she finds something truly unique, for she knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread—you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life.  Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of smart suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s sky-blue coat—an item with which Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell—one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again. 
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on
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Availability for A Vintage Affair; A Novel
    This was a lovely book!!!more
    Fluff with an edge; it reminded me a bit of Pilcher's work (which I enjoy a great deal) in terms of family and coming to terms with the past. And like many a chick lit book, it has the lovely fantasy of the easy, profitable, fun shop in which magic happens; dresses find their right owners, lives change, etc.

    It's fun to read this sort of thing, and the book was deepened by the parallel story of the blue wool coat.

    As a shop owner, however, I do always kind of snort at how simple all this is in books; no one is ever worried about cash flow or the electric bill.

    But that's why it's fun, even when edged with death and loss.more
    Phoebe Swift opens a vintage clothing store in Blackheath, London, as a new start after the death of her best friend, Emma. Phoebe views vintage pieces as more than just clothing and many of her customers find their lives enhanced - and even transformed - by what they find in the shop. Phoebe's success is marred by the guilt she feels about Emma's death and she finds a kindred soul in Mrs. Bell, an elderly woman who is also haunted by guilt. Phoebe also finds new love but a spoiled teenage daughter poses a threat to the relationship. Though the novel suffers from too many coincidences, Isabel Wolff has created a pleasant, diverting read with richly detailed descriptions of vintage fashion, a compelling plot, and a sprinkling of interesting side stories.more
    Author Isabel Wolff does a masterful job in creating a novel that blends so many elements so seamlessly into one story. Against the backdrop of vintage clothing, she weaves together a story from the past with a tale of the present using the common thread of friendship. Like some of the vintage clothes shop owner Phoebe sells, sometimes relationships fray at the edges. Sometimes they can be repaired, sometimes not. With strong, well-defined characters and an intricate plot, you will soon find yourself engrossed in this story which is rich with history, touched with romance, and shrouded with mystery. With its satisfying conclusion, some may say that the author ties everything up too neatly. But really that is not the case. She leaves no threads dangling, but not everything turns out to be picture perfect. Some of the character’s mistakes and errors in judgment leave their mark on people’s lives, just like in real life, and like with vintage clothing, relationships may be salvaged but the repair is evident. And, of course, no matter how hard you may wish it, you cannot undo the past. Sometimes, it is too late. A thoroughly captivating read, this novel is every bit as fine as a vintage evening gown in mint condition.more
    I was so looking forward to reading this book, particularly after having recently read `The Dress' which explores a similar premise of romance and vintage clothing. Personally, I found this book infinitely better than that one- it is beautifully written and has a lot more substance about it than I'd initially anticipated. The characters are very well drawn and the settings are very vividly depicted- from London to Provence. By the time I'd finished this book I really felt like I knew Phoebe and her life very well indeed.Phoebe Swift hasn't had the best of times recently. She decides to quit her job at Southerby's and live her dream- that of running a vintage dress shop. As Phoebe gets swept up in the drama of her shop, it comes with a few unexpected dramas of its own...If this summary makes this book sound a little bit frothy, then I apologise, because it genuinely isn't. The pretty girlie cover makes it out to be typical chicklit when in actuality the book interweaves a couple of serious plot lines- including that of the Holocaust. I was really surprised to find myself blubbing on the train at a couple of points in this book as the storyline veered off into that territory actually- this is the first `chicklit' that has ever made me cry!I feel like I have had to deduct half a star, merely because there was a bit of a jump forwards at the end, and everything felt tied up perhaps a little bit too quickly when it came to Phoebe's love life. I for one would have liked to have had a little bit of explanation as to how such things came about- for me that is the best bit of a romance novel! Despite this little niggle at the ending being a bit too quick though, I genuinely loved this book. It was a wonderful read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if you like contemporary romances with a little bit of a difference. *This review also appears on Amazon.co.uk*more
    Fun read. My favorite aspect of the book was Phoebe's relationships with other women, Annie, Mrs. Bell and the women who came to the shop, Recommended as well written, diverting. somewhat predictable but good, solid womens' fiction.more
    Loved the discussions concerning the clothes, but the main character was the worst kind of prima donna; one that doesn't know she is one. After only a few dates with an older man and sleeping at his house she was appalled at how his 16 year daughter snubbed her when she met her at the breakfast table. This kind of outlook ran thoughout the whole book. She expected more than she gave. The main character was tiresome.more
    I really enjoyed A Vintage Affair, I liked the description of the vintage clothes, and thought it was helpful that the author provided a guide to buying, and finding vintage clothes. The book had some history, a little romance, it was a light read and very well done.more
    I really enjoyed this book. It seemed to flow nicely, and I enjoyed all of the characters, especially their flaws.more
    This was a fantastic, feel-good read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves chick-lit. This was a great story and written fantastically!more
    As a fan of vintage clothing and the styles of the past, I was looking forward to reading this book; Isabel Wolff brings the past and the present together, weaves relationships between characters and all in all makes this a very entertaining read.more
    Vintage is the new new in this book. The book has friendship, romance, and forgiveness. The characters are excellent and the vintage feel ads to the storyline.more
    This was a fun book to read. I really enjoyed it. I didn't want to put it down.more
    A delicious read. The british do romance a cut above, sometimesmore
    This was a fun read. The vintage clothing boom is here and I see it in the city, the shops, and also, once and a while, I note it being worn, and it really is fun. I enjoyed the writing and this book kept clipping along.more
    I'm amazed by how much I enjoyed this book. The blurbs on the back of the cover describe it as being for romance or fashion lovers, and I would not consider myself to be either one of those. However, there was something about this book that made me want to read it. I was immediately drawn in.The words are so beautifully written. I was particularly enamored by the descriptions of the small villages in France, as well as the vintage clothing shop and its contents. The descriptions of the clothing, in particular, were wonderful; I actually found myself imagining going into a vintage clothing shop and finding a beautiful dress that fit me perfectly, enchanting me. (A bit silly, I know.)And yet the main story isn't really about the clothes, but the many people that the main character, Phoebe, meets and befriends through her shop. Most touching to me, was the underlying message of how we can spend so much time regretting what we have done or have not done, and how we may touch the lives of people. We can't change the past, but it is possible to make peace with it.more
    The story of a vintage clothing store, and the mystery of a child's blue coat.more
    This one is everthing a book should be. A happy but believable ending, characters that aren't perfect, and a great story to tell. I really enjoyed it.more
    A Vintage Affair hit the spot! The main character, previously employed by Sotheby's in London, opens her own vintage clothing store. We peek into the lives of the people who come to sell clothes and people who come to buy. We also meet boyfriends and friends from the past. Just a warning that this is not a bubble headed always feel good story, included is a character who is haunted by the betrayal of a Jewish girl during WWII and the death of the pirmary character's best friend. A really good read that will keep you engaged until the last page. This is the first book I've read by Isabell Wolff but will be looking for more.more
    While mourning the death of her best friend, Phoebe Swift decides to open a vintage clothing shop in London. Phoebe has been left with tremendous survivor's guilt following the suicide of her friend Sam. Guilt has led Phoebe to end her engagement and to cut ties with her former fiance. To cope Phoebe throws herself into her shop. The book follows two parallel plots: one following Phoebe as she returns to the dating world, the other chronicling her growing friendship with an elderly woman who has a closet full of clothes with compelling histories. Though this book deals with some sad events, I would describe this book as a 'happy book'- light and enjoyable to read, and left me with a smile and an upbeat attitude. This is one of those books that reads quickly and ties up neatly in the end. Sometimes I want to read exactly this kind of book, and this is one of the better examples of this genre I've read recently. I'd call it beach or vacation reading. I did have a few issues with the book- I thought the ending was a bit too tidy, and I was annoyed by Phoebe's decidedly poor treatment of her ex-fiance. Those things aside, I very much enjoyed reading this book, and will search out other works by this author.more
    As I was sitting down to write this review, I read that Sheryl Crow is requesting/requiring that recycled toilet paper be used at her concerts. While the idea of recycled coupled with toilet paper doesn't do much for me (I understand the concept, but, you know...), there are plenty of other things that are appealing to me second hand. Books are a given. Vintage clothing is another (perhaps they should call it vintage toilet paper? No, that doesn't really help at all). When I go to museums and they have clothing, I could read about it and look at the garments all day. So, when I got an email from Barnes & Noble earlier this summer about A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff, I was interested immediately. It tells the story of Phoebe Swift, a modern woman in her early 30s who leaves a successful career at Sotheby's to own and operate her own vintage clothing store in London. With the beautiful cover, I couldn't pass it up. I placed my order that day and couldn't have been more excited when the package arrived two days later.A Vintage Affair surprised me. It had all the fun of a novel about vintage clothing, with minor plot lines revolving around some of the dresses Phoebe highlighted. I could see the women trying on the beautiful cupcake dresses and imagine what they might do in them. I also liked how Phoebe took such care with the clothing see sold that it bothered her when someone "not right" for a garment tried it on and considered buying it. There was also a love story that, while predictable, felt warm and comfortable to me. What I hadn't anticipated was the way that a tragic story surrounding World War II was weaved in with Phoebe's life. I really loved that. It was that story that made A Vintage Affair for me.Although summer is about over (come on, fall, I'm ready for some cooler temperatures!), this was my favorite summer-ish read this year. It was light and whimsical at times, but it hooked you in with its depth. If you love looking at older clothing, fashion magazines, or watch what they're wearing on Mad Men, I know you'll enjoy this book. There's still time to pick it up and take it with you on your last outing this season. If not, never fear. A Vintage Affair would be perfect for a snow day, too.more
    I’ve read other books by Isabel Wolff and so was looking forward to reading A Vintage Affair. I was not disappointed. I won’t recap the plot as it has been done already, but I will say that the timing, the descriptions, the fullness of the characters is all so very well done. While I’m certainly not an expert on vintage fashion, I found the descriptions of the clothes fascinating and very easily pictured in my mind. This book sparked an interest in me to look further into vintage fashion. The various stories in the plot were all easily tied together. Ms. Wolff made the characters and the happenings in the story so easy to understand. The themes of forgiveness, friendship and love were beautifully done. I was especially fascinated by the story Mrs. Bell told about her experiences during World War II. There are many great characters in this story, most all of them people I would love to know. I’ve seen this book characterized as chick lit, but I think it is much more than that, a beautiful story, well told. I highly recommend it.more
    Review - A Vintage Affair A Vintage AffairBy Isabel WollfPub. Bantam DellPhoebe's best friend, Emma, dies and it leaves Phoebe with a sense of deep regret and guilt.Emma had fancied herself in love with Guy. But when she introduced Guy to her best fried, Phoebe, sparks flew. And before anyone knew what had happened, Phoebe and Guy were engaged to be married.After a trip to Africa, Emma comes home and waits quite a while before calling Phoebe. When she does, Phoebe can tell Emma is ill and distraught. She felt it was because of her relationship with Guy. She decides to see Emma the next morning. But by the time she arrives, Emma is dead. Phoebe blaming herself for not going to Emma the night before.Phoebe breaks it off with Guy, and leaves her career with Sothebys to open up her dream business, selling vintage clothing. A shop she calls Village Vintage.After a young writer, Dan, features a story about the opening of the new shop in the just as new paper he writes for, Village Vintage takes off and is a success. At an auction for vintage designer clothing, Phoebe is nearly outbid on a gorgeous designer outfit, by doting widower/ Dad, Miles. Dan and Miles are attracted to Phoebe. Phoebe feels more attracted to Miles, who has a 16-year old daughter, who needs a little attitude adjusting!Meanwhile, Phoebe is called to an elderly woman's apartment to look at some vintage clothing to purchase for her shop. The elderly woman, Therese, has just been diagnosed with cancer, and is clearing out her closets, so that someone else won't have to when she is gone.Phoebe and Therese form a bonding friendship. Phoebe tells Therese about losing her best friend, Emma. And Therese tells Phoebe about losing her best friend, Monique, to Auschwitz in 1942. She shows Phoebe the coat she had planned to give to Monique, the very morning the girl had been taken away.As weeks progress, Miles and Phoebe appear to become serious for one another, with Miles' daughter always reeking havoc when she is present to keep the two apart. Dan makes his feelings known, while Phoebe tells him she wants to be friends.Miles' daughter, already known to have "sticky fingers" finally breaks the camel's back with the straw of stealing an emerald ring from Phoebe that had belonged to her grandmother, Miles and Phoebe part company.Phoebe fancies that Therese's friend Monqiue did not die in Auschwitz, but went on to live a happy life, and determined to find out the truth, provides Therese with this assurance before her death.Monique's daughter arrives in London to attend a wedding and meets with Phoebe, who is able to give her the coat that Therese had vowed to the give to the girl's mother, who had survived Auschwitz and eventually moved to California, married and had the daughter. She also gave her a necklace her mother had lost when she was taken away, and a photograph that Therese had of the children who had attended school together.Phoebe's ring is finally returned by Miles', who admits his spoiled daughter needs professional counselling, which he is seeking for her.Guy and Phoebe make peaceful settlement between each other, and are able to part company with all differences resolved.And Dan and Phoebe... well the future's looking pretty good for these friends!!!This is a feel good story that makes you cry at times, but makes you smile in the end! This is definitely the stuff that every good writer hopes they can come up with. Kudos to you, Isabel Wolff for a story that will be remembered for a long, long time!A Vintage Affair was provided to me as an advance copy for review by the author in exchange for review.more
    In "A Vintage Affair," Phoebe Swift has recently opened her own vintage shop, having quit her job at Sotheby's after the unexpected death of her best friend, Emma.Phoebe blames herself for Emma's death due in part to the fact that Phoebe dated and became engaged to Guy, a man Emma had dated first and had set her heart on. After Emma's death, Phoebe breaks their engagement and all ties to Guy.Right before Phoebe opens her shop, journalist Dan Robinson writes an article in the local newspaper about the shop which leads to a boom in business. Phoebe hires actress Annie, a vintage clothes lover, to help out in the store. While at an auction, Phoebe bids against lawyer Miles Archant for a dress and ends up winning both the dress and the man. Of course, Miles comes with a lot of baggage, namely his 16-year-old daughter. Phoebe befriends Mrs. Bell, an elderly woman with some vintage clothing and a story from World War II to tell. Both ladies learn from each other and share their painful memories.While starting a new chapter in her life, Phoebe also has to contend with her parents' divorce, her father's new baby and her mother's search for the fountain of youth.Author Isabel Wolff has written a remarkable story of family, love and betrayal that will draw readers in and leave them quite satisfied. Mrs. Bell's story was intriguing to me because I love reading World War II era stories. I received an ARC of "A Vintage Affair" from Library Thing Early Reviewers.more
    Read all 54 reviews

    Reviews

    This was a lovely book!!!more
    Fluff with an edge; it reminded me a bit of Pilcher's work (which I enjoy a great deal) in terms of family and coming to terms with the past. And like many a chick lit book, it has the lovely fantasy of the easy, profitable, fun shop in which magic happens; dresses find their right owners, lives change, etc.

    It's fun to read this sort of thing, and the book was deepened by the parallel story of the blue wool coat.

    As a shop owner, however, I do always kind of snort at how simple all this is in books; no one is ever worried about cash flow or the electric bill.

    But that's why it's fun, even when edged with death and loss.more
    Phoebe Swift opens a vintage clothing store in Blackheath, London, as a new start after the death of her best friend, Emma. Phoebe views vintage pieces as more than just clothing and many of her customers find their lives enhanced - and even transformed - by what they find in the shop. Phoebe's success is marred by the guilt she feels about Emma's death and she finds a kindred soul in Mrs. Bell, an elderly woman who is also haunted by guilt. Phoebe also finds new love but a spoiled teenage daughter poses a threat to the relationship. Though the novel suffers from too many coincidences, Isabel Wolff has created a pleasant, diverting read with richly detailed descriptions of vintage fashion, a compelling plot, and a sprinkling of interesting side stories.more
    Author Isabel Wolff does a masterful job in creating a novel that blends so many elements so seamlessly into one story. Against the backdrop of vintage clothing, she weaves together a story from the past with a tale of the present using the common thread of friendship. Like some of the vintage clothes shop owner Phoebe sells, sometimes relationships fray at the edges. Sometimes they can be repaired, sometimes not. With strong, well-defined characters and an intricate plot, you will soon find yourself engrossed in this story which is rich with history, touched with romance, and shrouded with mystery. With its satisfying conclusion, some may say that the author ties everything up too neatly. But really that is not the case. She leaves no threads dangling, but not everything turns out to be picture perfect. Some of the character’s mistakes and errors in judgment leave their mark on people’s lives, just like in real life, and like with vintage clothing, relationships may be salvaged but the repair is evident. And, of course, no matter how hard you may wish it, you cannot undo the past. Sometimes, it is too late. A thoroughly captivating read, this novel is every bit as fine as a vintage evening gown in mint condition.more
    I was so looking forward to reading this book, particularly after having recently read `The Dress' which explores a similar premise of romance and vintage clothing. Personally, I found this book infinitely better than that one- it is beautifully written and has a lot more substance about it than I'd initially anticipated. The characters are very well drawn and the settings are very vividly depicted- from London to Provence. By the time I'd finished this book I really felt like I knew Phoebe and her life very well indeed.Phoebe Swift hasn't had the best of times recently. She decides to quit her job at Southerby's and live her dream- that of running a vintage dress shop. As Phoebe gets swept up in the drama of her shop, it comes with a few unexpected dramas of its own...If this summary makes this book sound a little bit frothy, then I apologise, because it genuinely isn't. The pretty girlie cover makes it out to be typical chicklit when in actuality the book interweaves a couple of serious plot lines- including that of the Holocaust. I was really surprised to find myself blubbing on the train at a couple of points in this book as the storyline veered off into that territory actually- this is the first `chicklit' that has ever made me cry!I feel like I have had to deduct half a star, merely because there was a bit of a jump forwards at the end, and everything felt tied up perhaps a little bit too quickly when it came to Phoebe's love life. I for one would have liked to have had a little bit of explanation as to how such things came about- for me that is the best bit of a romance novel! Despite this little niggle at the ending being a bit too quick though, I genuinely loved this book. It was a wonderful read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if you like contemporary romances with a little bit of a difference. *This review also appears on Amazon.co.uk*more
    Fun read. My favorite aspect of the book was Phoebe's relationships with other women, Annie, Mrs. Bell and the women who came to the shop, Recommended as well written, diverting. somewhat predictable but good, solid womens' fiction.more
    Loved the discussions concerning the clothes, but the main character was the worst kind of prima donna; one that doesn't know she is one. After only a few dates with an older man and sleeping at his house she was appalled at how his 16 year daughter snubbed her when she met her at the breakfast table. This kind of outlook ran thoughout the whole book. She expected more than she gave. The main character was tiresome.more
    I really enjoyed A Vintage Affair, I liked the description of the vintage clothes, and thought it was helpful that the author provided a guide to buying, and finding vintage clothes. The book had some history, a little romance, it was a light read and very well done.more
    I really enjoyed this book. It seemed to flow nicely, and I enjoyed all of the characters, especially their flaws.more
    This was a fantastic, feel-good read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves chick-lit. This was a great story and written fantastically!more
    As a fan of vintage clothing and the styles of the past, I was looking forward to reading this book; Isabel Wolff brings the past and the present together, weaves relationships between characters and all in all makes this a very entertaining read.more
    Vintage is the new new in this book. The book has friendship, romance, and forgiveness. The characters are excellent and the vintage feel ads to the storyline.more
    This was a fun book to read. I really enjoyed it. I didn't want to put it down.more
    A delicious read. The british do romance a cut above, sometimesmore
    This was a fun read. The vintage clothing boom is here and I see it in the city, the shops, and also, once and a while, I note it being worn, and it really is fun. I enjoyed the writing and this book kept clipping along.more
    I'm amazed by how much I enjoyed this book. The blurbs on the back of the cover describe it as being for romance or fashion lovers, and I would not consider myself to be either one of those. However, there was something about this book that made me want to read it. I was immediately drawn in.The words are so beautifully written. I was particularly enamored by the descriptions of the small villages in France, as well as the vintage clothing shop and its contents. The descriptions of the clothing, in particular, were wonderful; I actually found myself imagining going into a vintage clothing shop and finding a beautiful dress that fit me perfectly, enchanting me. (A bit silly, I know.)And yet the main story isn't really about the clothes, but the many people that the main character, Phoebe, meets and befriends through her shop. Most touching to me, was the underlying message of how we can spend so much time regretting what we have done or have not done, and how we may touch the lives of people. We can't change the past, but it is possible to make peace with it.more
    The story of a vintage clothing store, and the mystery of a child's blue coat.more
    This one is everthing a book should be. A happy but believable ending, characters that aren't perfect, and a great story to tell. I really enjoyed it.more
    A Vintage Affair hit the spot! The main character, previously employed by Sotheby's in London, opens her own vintage clothing store. We peek into the lives of the people who come to sell clothes and people who come to buy. We also meet boyfriends and friends from the past. Just a warning that this is not a bubble headed always feel good story, included is a character who is haunted by the betrayal of a Jewish girl during WWII and the death of the pirmary character's best friend. A really good read that will keep you engaged until the last page. This is the first book I've read by Isabell Wolff but will be looking for more.more
    While mourning the death of her best friend, Phoebe Swift decides to open a vintage clothing shop in London. Phoebe has been left with tremendous survivor's guilt following the suicide of her friend Sam. Guilt has led Phoebe to end her engagement and to cut ties with her former fiance. To cope Phoebe throws herself into her shop. The book follows two parallel plots: one following Phoebe as she returns to the dating world, the other chronicling her growing friendship with an elderly woman who has a closet full of clothes with compelling histories. Though this book deals with some sad events, I would describe this book as a 'happy book'- light and enjoyable to read, and left me with a smile and an upbeat attitude. This is one of those books that reads quickly and ties up neatly in the end. Sometimes I want to read exactly this kind of book, and this is one of the better examples of this genre I've read recently. I'd call it beach or vacation reading. I did have a few issues with the book- I thought the ending was a bit too tidy, and I was annoyed by Phoebe's decidedly poor treatment of her ex-fiance. Those things aside, I very much enjoyed reading this book, and will search out other works by this author.more
    As I was sitting down to write this review, I read that Sheryl Crow is requesting/requiring that recycled toilet paper be used at her concerts. While the idea of recycled coupled with toilet paper doesn't do much for me (I understand the concept, but, you know...), there are plenty of other things that are appealing to me second hand. Books are a given. Vintage clothing is another (perhaps they should call it vintage toilet paper? No, that doesn't really help at all). When I go to museums and they have clothing, I could read about it and look at the garments all day. So, when I got an email from Barnes & Noble earlier this summer about A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff, I was interested immediately. It tells the story of Phoebe Swift, a modern woman in her early 30s who leaves a successful career at Sotheby's to own and operate her own vintage clothing store in London. With the beautiful cover, I couldn't pass it up. I placed my order that day and couldn't have been more excited when the package arrived two days later.A Vintage Affair surprised me. It had all the fun of a novel about vintage clothing, with minor plot lines revolving around some of the dresses Phoebe highlighted. I could see the women trying on the beautiful cupcake dresses and imagine what they might do in them. I also liked how Phoebe took such care with the clothing see sold that it bothered her when someone "not right" for a garment tried it on and considered buying it. There was also a love story that, while predictable, felt warm and comfortable to me. What I hadn't anticipated was the way that a tragic story surrounding World War II was weaved in with Phoebe's life. I really loved that. It was that story that made A Vintage Affair for me.Although summer is about over (come on, fall, I'm ready for some cooler temperatures!), this was my favorite summer-ish read this year. It was light and whimsical at times, but it hooked you in with its depth. If you love looking at older clothing, fashion magazines, or watch what they're wearing on Mad Men, I know you'll enjoy this book. There's still time to pick it up and take it with you on your last outing this season. If not, never fear. A Vintage Affair would be perfect for a snow day, too.more
    I’ve read other books by Isabel Wolff and so was looking forward to reading A Vintage Affair. I was not disappointed. I won’t recap the plot as it has been done already, but I will say that the timing, the descriptions, the fullness of the characters is all so very well done. While I’m certainly not an expert on vintage fashion, I found the descriptions of the clothes fascinating and very easily pictured in my mind. This book sparked an interest in me to look further into vintage fashion. The various stories in the plot were all easily tied together. Ms. Wolff made the characters and the happenings in the story so easy to understand. The themes of forgiveness, friendship and love were beautifully done. I was especially fascinated by the story Mrs. Bell told about her experiences during World War II. There are many great characters in this story, most all of them people I would love to know. I’ve seen this book characterized as chick lit, but I think it is much more than that, a beautiful story, well told. I highly recommend it.more
    Review - A Vintage Affair A Vintage AffairBy Isabel WollfPub. Bantam DellPhoebe's best friend, Emma, dies and it leaves Phoebe with a sense of deep regret and guilt.Emma had fancied herself in love with Guy. But when she introduced Guy to her best fried, Phoebe, sparks flew. And before anyone knew what had happened, Phoebe and Guy were engaged to be married.After a trip to Africa, Emma comes home and waits quite a while before calling Phoebe. When she does, Phoebe can tell Emma is ill and distraught. She felt it was because of her relationship with Guy. She decides to see Emma the next morning. But by the time she arrives, Emma is dead. Phoebe blaming herself for not going to Emma the night before.Phoebe breaks it off with Guy, and leaves her career with Sothebys to open up her dream business, selling vintage clothing. A shop she calls Village Vintage.After a young writer, Dan, features a story about the opening of the new shop in the just as new paper he writes for, Village Vintage takes off and is a success. At an auction for vintage designer clothing, Phoebe is nearly outbid on a gorgeous designer outfit, by doting widower/ Dad, Miles. Dan and Miles are attracted to Phoebe. Phoebe feels more attracted to Miles, who has a 16-year old daughter, who needs a little attitude adjusting!Meanwhile, Phoebe is called to an elderly woman's apartment to look at some vintage clothing to purchase for her shop. The elderly woman, Therese, has just been diagnosed with cancer, and is clearing out her closets, so that someone else won't have to when she is gone.Phoebe and Therese form a bonding friendship. Phoebe tells Therese about losing her best friend, Emma. And Therese tells Phoebe about losing her best friend, Monique, to Auschwitz in 1942. She shows Phoebe the coat she had planned to give to Monique, the very morning the girl had been taken away.As weeks progress, Miles and Phoebe appear to become serious for one another, with Miles' daughter always reeking havoc when she is present to keep the two apart. Dan makes his feelings known, while Phoebe tells him she wants to be friends.Miles' daughter, already known to have "sticky fingers" finally breaks the camel's back with the straw of stealing an emerald ring from Phoebe that had belonged to her grandmother, Miles and Phoebe part company.Phoebe fancies that Therese's friend Monqiue did not die in Auschwitz, but went on to live a happy life, and determined to find out the truth, provides Therese with this assurance before her death.Monique's daughter arrives in London to attend a wedding and meets with Phoebe, who is able to give her the coat that Therese had vowed to the give to the girl's mother, who had survived Auschwitz and eventually moved to California, married and had the daughter. She also gave her a necklace her mother had lost when she was taken away, and a photograph that Therese had of the children who had attended school together.Phoebe's ring is finally returned by Miles', who admits his spoiled daughter needs professional counselling, which he is seeking for her.Guy and Phoebe make peaceful settlement between each other, and are able to part company with all differences resolved.And Dan and Phoebe... well the future's looking pretty good for these friends!!!This is a feel good story that makes you cry at times, but makes you smile in the end! This is definitely the stuff that every good writer hopes they can come up with. Kudos to you, Isabel Wolff for a story that will be remembered for a long, long time!A Vintage Affair was provided to me as an advance copy for review by the author in exchange for review.more
    In "A Vintage Affair," Phoebe Swift has recently opened her own vintage shop, having quit her job at Sotheby's after the unexpected death of her best friend, Emma.Phoebe blames herself for Emma's death due in part to the fact that Phoebe dated and became engaged to Guy, a man Emma had dated first and had set her heart on. After Emma's death, Phoebe breaks their engagement and all ties to Guy.Right before Phoebe opens her shop, journalist Dan Robinson writes an article in the local newspaper about the shop which leads to a boom in business. Phoebe hires actress Annie, a vintage clothes lover, to help out in the store. While at an auction, Phoebe bids against lawyer Miles Archant for a dress and ends up winning both the dress and the man. Of course, Miles comes with a lot of baggage, namely his 16-year-old daughter. Phoebe befriends Mrs. Bell, an elderly woman with some vintage clothing and a story from World War II to tell. Both ladies learn from each other and share their painful memories.While starting a new chapter in her life, Phoebe also has to contend with her parents' divorce, her father's new baby and her mother's search for the fountain of youth.Author Isabel Wolff has written a remarkable story of family, love and betrayal that will draw readers in and leave them quite satisfied. Mrs. Bell's story was intriguing to me because I love reading World War II era stories. I received an ARC of "A Vintage Affair" from Library Thing Early Reviewers.more
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