A Vintage Affair
Booklist Reviews 2010 April #2
When vintage clothing expert Phoebe Swift decides to abandon her career as a Sotheby's auctioneer, she opens London's Village Vintage, selling only the best recycled designer duds. However, it isn't long before we discover that the cupcake dresses and alligator clutches that populate her quaint neighborhood shop aren't Phoebe's only baggage. Reeling from the death of a close friend and the subsequent collapse of her wedding engagement, Phoebe is in need of a change. She certainly loves the clothing she sells for its history, but it takes a new and profound friendship with the elderly client Mrs. Bell to show Phoebe to care for herself in the same way. Although the novel is sometimes predictable, UK best-seller Wolff keeps us entertained by sending a few courtiers Phoebe's way and threading intriguing wartime historical fiction into Mrs. Bell's backstory. Readers with a passion for couture fashion will appreciate (and feel vindicated by!) Wolff's well-researched and intricate descriptions of beautiful, significant vintage pieces. While the dialogue is occasionally a bit bloated, this book is a smooth read with enough flair and fun for the beach or the pool. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2010 May #1
Vintage clothing lover Phoebe opens her own resale boutique in London's Blackheath neighborhood, meeting much success. She's grateful for the hustle and bustle the shop provides, because it lets her forget her guilt over the death of her best childhood friend, not to mention that she just left her fiancé at the altar. When the elderly Mrs. Bell contracts with Phoebe to sell her entire wardrobe, Phoebe finds herself reeled in by the story of Mrs. Bell's childhood friend, thought lost in the horrors of the Holocaust. Additionally, our heroine's got not one but two new suitors keeping her on her toes. Sounds like a lot, but Wolff manages to keep every story line interesting and on track, including plenty of fashion talk. VERDICT Fans of British chick lit, rejoice! (And readers who aren't already fans, prepare to become such.) With a wide cast of realistic, wonderfully drawn characters, a deft blending of the past with the present, and a seemingly effortless managing of several plots at once, this charming novel by the author ofBehaving Badly and The Trials of Tiffany Trott deserves a place in all popular fiction collections.—Rebecca Vnuk, Forest Park, IL[Page 73]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
LJ Reviews Newsletter
A Vintage Affair (Bantam. 2011. ISBN 9780553386622. pap. $15) ~ As you read it's hard to resist the purchase of a frothy 1950s prom dress just like the ones that Isabel Wolff describes so tantalizingly well in her eighth novel. Her delightful tale perfectly melds a little romance, an interfering mother, a long-lost friendship, and an elderly woman with a mysterious past. Sure, Phoebe Swift's vintage clothing store holds sartorial treasures from past to present, but it also represents the extent of Phoebe's passion for the stories that surround each stocking and skirt. — "The Reader's Shelf" LJ Reviews 10/4/12 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.