Customer Reviews for

A Vintage Affair

Average Rating 4
( 1484 )
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(567)

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(67)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

75 out of 76 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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  • 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 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 31, 2010

    Dear Ms. Wolff.....where's the next book ???

    I really enjoyed this book's quick pace and the characters were people I would like to meet ! I hope Ms. Wolff is working on another book about the vintage shop I think it would be a lovely followup to the original. What happens to the remaining characters, I'm anxious to know.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    Very Enjoyable reading!

    This book had everything I like in my fiction reading, interesting characters, well developed plot with references to some historical facts, some surprises and twists, and a bit of romance thrown in. I do think that it ended a bit abruptly, but perhaps the door was left open for another book from this author about these characters. The references to all the designers and vintage clothing, shoes, etc. added to the interest. This book was unique, touching, and held my interest all the way to the end!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2010

    Fantastic Book

    I really enjoyed this book. Happy, sad, romantic, touching. I will be looking forward to reading more from this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    A Vintage Affair

    Loved this novel, read it in a 24-hour period. Characters were lovely and real. Loved the thread of history woven through the story. I will definitely be looking for some of Isabel Wolff's previous books.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Great

    Loved this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Awesome book

    O and who said the s word you will get kicked off if u keep saing that stuff serisly but GREAT GREAT book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Touching story A touching, believable story

    An easy read with good flow to the writing. This touching story looks at grief, regret, acceptance, and healing in a very gentle, yet realistic way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Recommended.

    Great book. I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. I could not put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    If you love fashion you'll love this book

    Multi dimensional characters, a mystery, a love story, a mini history of fashion. I loved this book. A bit heartwrenching in places. Will read another of her books definiteley

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Kept my attention

    I enjoyed this mystery with a little romance tied in. It was an easy and enjoyable read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I can't remember how I found this book but I am so glad that I did. I thought it was going to be a "fluffy" read but it was so much more. I loved the vintage clothing story line but the additional story that develops is so touching. Very good read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Wonderful read

    I truly enjoyed this book. If you love vintage clothes, the history of who and how they were produced please read this book. Thank you Ms. Wolf for an excellent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    Lovely

    Sped through this book, then went back and re-read several sections. It's so melancholy at times, but there's an evolution of the character Phoebe which seems inevitable. I liked this book a lot, but I hoped that Phoebe's connection with one of the characters after being mended, might revive, perhaps in another book. You can see why I'm not an author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    A must read!

    If you're looking for a good book that will take you in to your very own "zone", this is the book for you. It's a very easy read with not a lot of complication to it. I enjoyed the escape & hope you do as well!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

    Sad but happy - a good story

    I really enjoyed reading the book. The interaction betweeen Phoebe and Mrs. Bell was wonderful. You felt the pain that each character was going through as they interacted. Phoebe feeling guilty because of what happened to her close friend and Mrs. Bell feeling guilty about what happened with her friend. They helped each other get over their sense of loss and guilt. Highly recommend and a good book club discussion

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Very Enjoyable

    I found this book very interesting overall. I enjoyed how the main character made the vintage clothing come alive and the story with the older lady and the blue coat was deeply touching! I would recommend this book to anyone who believes in happy endings, no matter their form.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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