Customer Reviews for

A Vintage Affair

Average Rating 4
( 1485 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

76 out of 77 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

9 out of 26 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 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

    76 out of 77 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2010

    great

    i loved this book

    4 out of 5 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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  • 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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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    A Great Book

    This is a wonderful book. When you read it you will 'see' it all in your mind.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    A Summer Surprise

    I admit I picked this up just to make a trip easier.I fell in love with the characters with the first dress decriptions.I was hoping to get an insiders view of a world class auction house but I happily surrendered to Phoebe as she struck out on her own.The steely Therese Bell and her tragic war tale gave a dramatic story line that wound through the entire book.. The strongest pull for me was the shop and the clients that returned to share a bit of their lives with Annie and Phoebe. The Vintage Affair gives readers a chance to go back to the days of Mary Quant before the advent of Topshop. It was a pleasant stroll.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A beautiful book!

    I loved this book! The story is so touching and interesting that I could not put it down.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2010

    Best book I have read in a long time

    Really enjoyed the multiple plots and the author's descriptive writing

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    Enjoyed the sweet characters and feel good moments throughout

    What an enjoyable book. I love anything vintage and got some education about clothing. Such sweet and likeable characters and I could literally picture the colorful dresses and people involved in intertwining storylines. Loved it. I am anxious to read more from this author. This would make such a wonderful movie.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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