Vintage: A Novel

( 16 )

Overview

A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But when faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it all by herself.

Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet’s shop, she...

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Vintage: A Novel

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Overview

A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But when faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it all by herself.

Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet’s shop, she forges an unexpected bond with women who won’t let her give up on her dreams.

Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian silk dresses. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity with a needle and thread.

Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"…This novel is sure to please fans of women's fiction who enjoy an engaging story filled with plucky characters and second acts." (Library Journal)

"…Gloss should have a built-in fan base for this book-club-worthy story of redemption, healing, and love." (Booklist)

"A wonderfully engaging story complete with the true essence of sisterhood." (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties)

Susanna Daniel
“A colorful and charming novel, filled with tenderness for women and friendship. Susan Gloss writes about clothes in such loving detail that every page read like a literary wardrobe makeover…a delicious combination.”
Michelle Wildgen
“Susan Gloss has conjured up a generous and welcoming world—and the women of Violet’s beloved vintage shop have plenty of grit to go with their glamour.”
Booklist
“…Gloss should have a built-in fan base for this book-club-worthy story of redemption, healing, and love.”
Stephanie Evanovich
“A wonderfully engaging story complete with the true essence of sisterhood.”
Library Journal
02/01/2014
At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, WI, three women bond through a love of vintage clothing and find their friendship to be a source of strength at a time when they need it most. Violet, the store's proprietress, believes in second chances for people as well as clothing. April, the store's teenage intern, vows not to let her unexpected pregnancy, canceled wedding, or recently deceased mother get in the way of her college plans. And Amithi, a dutiful wife, comes to the store to sell some of her possessions after she finds out her husband has been engaged in a long-term affair. When Violet learns of her impending eviction from the building she and her business call home, she will need the support of all those around her to find a solution to the upheaval. VERDICT Similar in theme to Stephanie Lehmann's Astor Place Vintage, but without the historical aspect, this novel is sure to please fans of women's fiction who enjoy an engaging story filled with plucky characters and second acts.—Karen Core, Detroit P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-06
Lost souls find new hope in a Madison, Wis., resale shop, in Gloss' debut. Owning Hourglass Vintage, which sells estate clothing and other high-end castoffs, has helped Violet reconstitute her life after divorce from alcoholic husband Jed. But now her landlord, hoping to cash in on a real estate boom, is forcing her to either exercise her option to buy the building (unlikely at the seven-figure price tag) or vacate. Other characters enter the store with their own dilemmas, represented by the items they choose to sell. April, a teenage mom-to-be, brings in her wedding dress, never worn—her mother died recently in a car crash that might have been a suicide, and her fiance, Charlie, has called off the wedding after his snobbish parents threatened to disown him. Amithi is selling jewelry and saris which carry unpleasant associations since she learned of her husband's infidelity. (She had always thought her marriage, though arranged by parents in India years ago, was a happy one.) April, who exhibits a knack for figures and computing, wangles an internship at Hourglass and begins to organize Violet's hopelessly haphazard inventory system. Successive crises test the women's mettle and the bonds between them. To raise money, Violet mounts a fashion show featuring Madison's trashiest-talking drag queens and a surprise guest appearance. Unfortunately, too much exposition-laden dialogue slows the pace, and the novel's ending is anything but surprising. A likable but lackluster debut, not likely to stand out in the crowded field of fiction about women united by a common pursuit.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410469144
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 7/9/2014
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 483
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she's not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at GlossingOverIt.com, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Charming, elegant, and relevant. I loved each of the trio in the

    Charming, elegant, and relevant. I loved each of the trio in the sisterhood of protagonists. The story is conveyed in the alternating voices of diverse cultures and generations and each chapter opens with an inventory item introduction. The strands of independence and interdependence, and the beauty and strength of womanhood are deftly interwoven to produce a literary tapestry. Vintage is a treasure I will share and savor for years to come!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    I spend a lot of time reading novels set in a turbulent past or

    I spend a lot of time reading novels set in a turbulent past or those which race the clock and leave you breathless. In VINTAGE, I found a new variety of book to love--one that enfolds you in a tale of believable characters you grow to love and root for as they struggle to come to terms with the difficult times in their lives. What could be more poignant than lasting friendship? In my own life--not much, so I related well to these ladies--Amithi, Violet, and April. This novel is reminiscent of THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB in all the good ways. You will think of its characters long after you've devoured it. Highly recommended for lovers of women's fiction and book clubs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings What a sweet bo

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    What a sweet book with three fantastic main characters, all at different points in life and all at crossroads where they must make big decisions.  Violet owns a vintage clothing store and each chapter starts with an item that she has in the store or that is on its way in and has something to do with the action in that chapter - I loved this, it made the book feel uniquely vintage!  Amithi is an older Indian woman who is an empty nester and is trying to find what really makes her happy at this moment in life.  Finally, there is April and she is pregnant and very young and must figure out the path that she wants to choose.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    Susan Gloss's VINTAGE is about fashion, sure. Little vignettes a

    Susan Gloss's VINTAGE is about fashion, sure. Little vignettes at the beginning of each chapter give us dresses and accessories to watch out for in the story. But this novel is about far more than that. Each woman in the novel—Violet, the owner of Hourglass Vintage, and the women who enter the store and her life—has to figure out where she's gone wrong and rise to the challenge of a second chance. I liked the honest depiction of women's friendships, complex and sometimes fraught, but in the end, supportive and lasting—just like the well-made garments in Violet's store.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Great read!

    If you like Debbie Macomber, you will live this book. Wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Fun but predictable

    From the beginning, it's easy to tell what direction the story will go. The characters are sweet and easy to like. I enjoyed how each chapter started with a description of a vintage item. Overall, quick & easy beach read you don't have to think through.

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  • Posted August 8, 2014

    Heartwarming story of the power of female friendship

    What a fun read for anyone who loves clothing, history, friendship and love. Violet Turner from the time she was a young girl had a flair for clothing, the more unique the better. But, her true love for vintage clothing took center stag to all else. This love of vintage clothing and the story behind each piece of clothing she buys leads her to following her dream, a vintage apparel shop. Before Violet realizes it her life and three completely different women who find their way to the Hourglass Vintage Shop are intertwined for life. It is a heartwarming story of the power of female friendship and the love and bond that grows from these women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Stories and fashion

    This is a very sweet book combining stories and fashion ( what more can you want ;) ).

    Violet owns the Vintage Hourglass, a store she's owned for about five years. With 'gently used vintage' being the rage, espeicially in Madison WI, she's done fairly well working alone and living upstairs with her rescued dog, Miles.

    Then a regular customer asks her to take on an intern. April is dealing with the loss if her mother and her fiance along with dealing with her pregnancy. Violet takes on April, and the two of them work together to build trust, something neither have a ready supply of.

    Some of this was fairly predictable...it didn't take much to figure it out, but a very sweet book all the same. Worth looking for

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  • Posted June 14, 2014

    I loved this book. I don't read a lot of adult fiction, but I en

    I loved this book. I don't read a lot of adult fiction, but I enjoyed this one. It was a sweet and easy read, and the vintage element added a lot more fun. I loved getting to know the three characters, and how their lives intertwined because of this store.

    Violet owns a vintage store. After escaping a bad marriage, Violet has finally gotten to do what she always wanted. But, she is getting older, and she can't stop her wistful thinking for a family, a child. April is 18-years-old, and pregnant. She buys her wedding dress from Violet's store, only for her engagement to be broken, leaving her to return her perfect dress. Amithi has been married for over 40 years, when she discovers her husband's betrayal. With a grown daughter, no work experience, and all her family back in India, Amithi is stuck. She begins cleaning out her closet, bringing things to Violet's store to be sold off.

    Each of the characters were in different stages of life, and also marriage. Yet they were able to come together for each other. Each voice was written uniquely, as to really showcase the differences between the women. The story was written in the present, but with flashbacks. This could have become really confusing, but it wasn't. It was well-done, and really characterized each of the women.

    Okay, I might have especially loved that there was an Indian woman in here, and I think Gloss did an exceptional job of relaying the struggles that come with being an Indian woman who leaves her family behind to come here with her husband, as well as the struggles that come with raising a daughter in two cultures. Everything rang true, and I loved the showcase of diversity.

    The story may have been considered predictable, but I didn't care, because it was very well done. It was equally full of emotions and humor (drag queens, anyone?). This was an excellent debut, and I will definitely be picking up whatever Susan Gloss writes next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    Charming story

    The story is about three women making changes in their lives. The women are from different genetations but are similar in the way they change their lives . A nice story and an easy read.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    Nice little book, great beach read.

    Nice little book, great beach read.

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  • Posted May 1, 2014

    Great read!

    I can't put the book down...I'm getting close to the end and will be sad to read the words "The End" Very enjoyable read with characters that are warm and endearing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2014

    I enjoyed this book, each chapter artfully framed by the catalog

    I enjoyed this book, each chapter artfully framed by the catalog description of a vintage item. It was a solid beach read, the story end points for each of the interesting characters being highly predictable. Ah, but they arrived at those end points with such style. A good story is in the telling.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    Vintage is a wonderful, heartwarming story about women's friends

    Vintage is a wonderful, heartwarming story about women's friendships and how the beauty of the things we own comes from sharing them. Violet, who owns a vintage store in Madison, WI, loves listening to the stories of her customers and the vintage items they bring into the store, but she soon learns she may lose her store to developers who plan to take over the property. While she deals with her crisis, she befriends customers of the store who bring in their own past heartbreaks: April, a pregnant teenager who's returning the wedding dress she'd bought at Violet's store but never used, and Amithi, who brings in her decades' old saris after learning of her husband's betrayal. 

    Gloss tenderly intertwines each woman's past with the artifacts of their lives and those who came before them. Her novel is like foodie fiction for vintage lovers, mixed with a loving portrayal of women's friendships and how we each have to find a place for our pasts before moving on to our futures.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    Pleasant But Predictable.

    Pleasant But Predictable. This is basically a well written book and it will suffice for a rainy afternoon read with a cup of tea, but don't look for anything original. This same basic plot has been done before--better and more originally--in titles like 'A Vintage Affair' and 'The Secret Lives of Dresses.' Here we have the now familiar young woman putting her heart/soul into a vintage clothing store while trying to move past her own romantic issues. She is surrounded by a female circle of friends, each with their personal problems as well. Not surprisingly, they bond over the background stories of the dresses. Any careful reader can see the plot unfolding from miles away. An okay read if you are not looking for anything surprising.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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