Customer Reviews for

A Vintage Affair

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

74 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

A great, layered story

A Vintage Affair is a beautiful combination of historical fiction and contemporary women's fiction. On the surface, it tells the story of Phoebe, auction house buyer turned vintage shop owner. In substance this career change isn't drastic; it utilizes the same skill set...
A Vintage Affair is a beautiful combination of historical fiction and contemporary women's fiction. On the surface, it tells the story of Phoebe, auction house buyer turned vintage shop owner. In substance this career change isn't drastic; it utilizes the same skill set. It is, however, a great risk both financially and personally as Phoebe initially uses her shop to hide from her demons. In running from her own past, Phoebe ends up running headlong into the pasts of others. Clothes do hold memories, after all. She ends up very involved in the life and past of Mrs. Bell. This French survivor of WWII tells Phoebe of her experiences in her designer clothes, which Phoebe is buying from her, and of her experiences in clothes that were handmade for her during the War, specifically a blue winter coat which she refuses to sell. As Mrs. Bell relates the small betrayals that had lasting consequences in the French countryside where she grew up, Phoebe notices the correlations to her own life and the large act of betrayal she has been trying to forget she committed. A wonderful read with lush descriptions of both the clothes and the eras in both women's stories, A Vintage Affair will not disappoint. It is a story that will stay with you, just like the prom dress in your attic that you can't bare to part with.

Book source: Goodreads First Reads Program

posted by Lawral on April 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Poorly Written

Where to start? The dialog was embarrassedly awkward. The characters and story line were embarrassingly predictable. The sex scene is just odd. I have to admit I liked the fashion angle, but beyond that there was nada.

posted by X_in_SF on August 19, 2010

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Page 1 of 75
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    A great, layered story

    A Vintage Affair is a beautiful combination of historical fiction and contemporary women's fiction. On the surface, it tells the story of Phoebe, auction house buyer turned vintage shop owner. In substance this career change isn't drastic; it utilizes the same skill set. It is, however, a great risk both financially and personally as Phoebe initially uses her shop to hide from her demons. In running from her own past, Phoebe ends up running headlong into the pasts of others. Clothes do hold memories, after all. She ends up very involved in the life and past of Mrs. Bell. This French survivor of WWII tells Phoebe of her experiences in her designer clothes, which Phoebe is buying from her, and of her experiences in clothes that were handmade for her during the War, specifically a blue winter coat which she refuses to sell. As Mrs. Bell relates the small betrayals that had lasting consequences in the French countryside where she grew up, Phoebe notices the correlations to her own life and the large act of betrayal she has been trying to forget she committed. A wonderful read with lush descriptions of both the clothes and the eras in both women's stories, A Vintage Affair will not disappoint. It is a story that will stay with you, just like the prom dress in your attic that you can't bare to part with.

    Book source: Goodreads First Reads Program

    74 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun and fascinating!

    The narrator, Phoebe Swift, will capture your heart right from the get-go. Full of passion and enthusiasm, she shares her confusion, disappointments, and her regrets. There is a lot to keep you guessing and hoping. A bit of history is revealed along with stories from customers and knowledge of vintage clothes and her business, switch from Auction House buyer to A Vintage Shop. There are visits with many interesting characters that add so much intrigue in a lot of areas. There is a healthy mixture of fun, romance, and friendship that makes this book really fascinating. I loved it!

    38 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    Incredible Read!

    Once in a rare while, a book comes along that is so enjoyable, and so easy to read, yet has all the things important for a "good book." This is one of those rare finds. The characters are very well-developed--many of them are people I'd like to know and have in my life. The plot moves quickly--I couldn't put the book down, and read it almost cover to cover in one sitting (pulled an all-nighter on a Friday night!). I kept reading faster to see what would happen next, yet did NOT want this story to end. This was the first book I've read by Isabel Wolff, but I'll be looking for some of her other titles now. I would easily say that this was among my favorite books I've ever read--and since I'm almost 60, and a VERY AVID reader, I've read hundreds of books (if not more!) in my life! I rarely keep a book to re-read, as I usually pass them on to friends or the local library. However, I'll be holding on to "A Vintage Affair" to read again. Yes, it was THAT wonderful! I might also add that, although I'm not particularly a fan of "vintage clothing" for myself, I found the detailed descriptions of the clothes and fabrics to be most enlightening and entertaining, along with the women who purchased certain garments. My point is that this book can be enjoyed by all women--not just those who are interested in vintage clothing. Can't recommend this book highly enough!!!

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    A Must Read!!!

    If you like clothes and a good story that will make you laugh and cry, this books for you.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Poorly Written

    Where to start? The dialog was embarrassedly awkward. The characters and story line were embarrassingly predictable. The sex scene is just odd. I have to admit I liked the fashion angle, but beyond that there was nada.

    8 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Not what was expected

    I read a little about this book just before I bought it and it was more than I thought it would be. I just felt for Phoebe and her relationship with Mrs. Bell was sweet and heartwarming. Wanted to strangle Miles and give Roxy a good old fashioned what's what. Dan was just the lovable nerdy guy that you wanted Phoebe to be with in the end. This was a quick read and really touched me. The descriptions of the clothes and towns just made everything easy to imagine and seem real. This is a book where you just could feel apart of it and not just looking in through dirty windows.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2010

    A great twist on vintage fiction

    I love historical fiction, and this caught my eye. I was a wee bit concerned because I had read a review that was less than flattering, but I decided to give it a chance and am I glad I did! This was great twist on "vintage" fiction...ingenious usage of the vintage fashion to tell the story-

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What a Lovely Book!

    This book was wonderful. In a nutshell, it's about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. Learn your lessons, but don't let your life be consumed by past mistakes or misconceptions. The theme is tied together by the vintage clothing shop that the herione owns and runs. She loves the vintage clothing, thinks about the prior owners, and knows that she is breathing new life into old things. I loved everything about this book, and even surfed the web looking for some of the clothing designers metioned in the book. I highly recommend this book.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2010

    Wonderful Read!

    I really loved the main character in this book. The way that the author tied in the fashion and wove it into the story line really wrapped it all together.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2010

    great

    i loved this book

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    Highly Recommend

    Wonderful book! Once you start reading you can't stop

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    Great book that sparks your imagination.

    Vintage Affair was an excellent, enjoyable and easy read. While reading, I would visualize the clothing along with the stories of each item. I could visualize past and future happiness along with the sadness. There were several different stories within this novel and all flowed quite well. I now have more an interest into vintage items whether clothes or items after reading this book. The book is also about letting go of burdens we place upon ourselves, forgiving ourselves and others and moving on and enjoying what life has in store for us. The ending is great. It was what I suspected and visualized. Thank you.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    LOVED IT

    I started reading this book and just could not put it down. I loved everything about it. I have already bought several for Christmas gifts. Thanks to the writer for such a great read.....need more books like this.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff is an intriguing mixture of contemporary issues and reminiscences of the past. You see the intermingling of the "ties that bind" with old friendships and the minefield of navigating through adult relationsh

    The prologue was what captured my attention the most. Isabel starts off as if in a time or era resembling a Jane Austen novel. She artfully sets up the playful relationship between friends with the "hide and go seek" scene of the girlhood best friends. Jump forward 20 plus years and you see the time worn layers of the adult Phoebe and her trying to pull her life "back together" after the "incident" with Emma. Definitely one to take on a long weekend or to escape with. A romantic comedy in the best sense of the genre. Isabel artfully incorporates enough of the "vintage" culture references to make you want to research the pieces of clothing in her shop to "see" for yourself if the descriptions are "true to history". And her "passion" for the history of the clothes in her shop is evident - "you're not just buying fabric and thread - you're buying a piece of history". The same could be said for Isabel's work. You feel like you are getting a glimpse into someone's true past.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    amazin'!!!!!!!!!!!

    this book took me away to another world, where very intresting things happen. not to mention the characters felt real.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    WOW

    I really loved this book... could not put it down...It is my first Isabel Wolff and I have already tracked down and ordered her other books. She draws you in with excellent characters and a wonderful story that has many twists and turns. I highly recommend it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    BRILLIANT

    I love this book, love the close relationship between Pheobe and Mrs. Bell. It kept you wanting to know what is going to happen. This book is definite a keeper. I would recommend this book to my friends.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2010

    Loved it!

    What a touching and immersive story! I couldn't put it down for wanting to know what Phoebe would find out or experience next. This is the first book by Ms. Wolff that I have read and I am definitely going to seek out her others. She really brought the characters to life and I felt their emotions as though they were my own.

    Enjoy!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    Great Book

    Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I loved how she tied the two friendships together and how there was a little bit of mystery, friendship and romance all in one. I recommend this to everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    easty to read, enjoyable, wanted to know what was going to happen

    I had no idea what this story was going to be about, but was intrigued about the idea of vintage clothes. The author did a good job of weaving various story lines around the vintage clothing store and kept me interested with historic facts.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1483 Customer Reviews
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