Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review - A Vintage Affair: A Novel by Isabel Wolff

Title: A Vintage Affair: A Novel
Author: Isabel Wolff
Year: 2010
Page: 423
Genre: Fiction - Women

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Possibly
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? England
FTC Disclosure: Part of Crazy Books Tour - received a copy and then sent it to the next reviewer

Summary (from
Do fairytale dresses bring fairytale endings? Every dress has a history, so does Phoebe! Phoebe always dreamt of opening her own vintage dress shop. She imagined every detail, from the Vivienne Westwood bustiers hanging next to satin gowns, to sequinned cupcake dresses adorning the walls. At the launch of Village Vintage, Phoebe feels the tingle of excitement as customers snap up the fairytale dresses. Her dream has come true, but a secret from her past is casting a shadow over her new venture. Then one day she meets Therese, an elderly Frenchwoman with a collection to sell, apart from one piece that she won't part with ! As Therese tells the story of the little blue coat, Phoebe feels a profound connection with her own life, one that will help her heal the pain of her past and allow her to love again.

First Sentence:
", eight-teen... nine-teenn...twenty! Com-ing!" I yelled.  

Why did I pick this book?
When I saw this book up for review as part of Crazy Books Tour, I debated whether to get it. I usually don't like reading women fiction or chick lit, but some said it's more than the typical chick lit. On the other hand, while I am not a fashionista, I do appreciate vintage clothing. So I thought I'd give this one a try - if anything, I could learn a bit more about vintage clothing, which I don't know much about!

My thoughts:
  • It's not bad. The plot is a bit predictable, which is why I generally don't like reading this genre. It is also quite long and I think it could've been shortened a bit.
  • The characters are likable, and I wish I know a old lady like Therese. Though none of the characters or the plot really tuck at my heartstrings, despite the background involves a sad part of history... 
  • The best part for me was, as predicted, the vintage clothes! I wish pictures were included! Clothes can definitely change how you feel about yourself - your self confidence, the impression you gave, and just make you feel better when the clothes fit nicely. Though on the flip side, clothes shopping can be so frustrating when nothing fits properly because you don't shape like a model... 
  • I googled some of the designers mentioned, and particularly liked Cristobal Balenciaga and Madame Gres. Had never heard of them before. In fact, I don't know a lot of designers... I have to say though I love watching Project Runway even though I can't sew (my mum is a fantastic seamstress though!)
  • You can read other reviews from the tour here

      Rating: 3.5 Stars

      Have you read this book? 
      If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

      100+ Reading


      1. My mom is an amazing seamstress and we enjoy watching Project Runway together. If she read I would get her this book.

      2. You would almost think this is the same book.