Friday, June 14, 2013

review: astor place vintage by stephanie lehmann

As her birthday approaches, Amanda once again faces the fact that she has wasted her child-bearing years waiting for her married lover to leave his wife. When he disappoints her on her birthday, Amanda decides to make a break from Jeff once and for all. Her decision is ill-timed though as she soon learns the landlord of her vintage clothing store isn’t renewing her lease (she relies on Jeff for money). But Amanda has the diary of a young woman who lived in New York in 1907 to distract her. Olive had far more struggles than Amanda as she lived in a time of great restrictions on women. Amanda becomes obsessed with Olive’s story (which comes in alternating chapters) to the point of having visions of Olive and her friends on the rare occasion that her body finally gives in to sleep.

The contrast between the lives of these two women in the same place but a century apart is remarkable. With its fabulous descriptions of New York (especially the department stores that no longer exist) and clothing, Astor Place Vintage had me completely captivated. The two storylines were fantastic as well with both women being strong leads.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Touchstone.

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