APPROXIMATE DATE: 2014
ITEM DESCRIPTION: Advanced reader's edition of Vintage, a novel for women about clothing and friendship and following your dreams.
SOURCE: TLC Book Tours and William Morrow Publishers
Like many women, I'd love to have my own shop. While I know it would be a lot of work (endless work, perhaps!), it still sounds like fun to me. I can picture myself selling one-of-a-kind, eclectic items like clothing, accessories, and small housewares. I have a friend who'll be opening a shop soon, and I'm thrilled for her. She will even feature some handmade beaded jewelry a friend and I purchased from artists in central Mexico. I'm looking forward to the grand opening of her shop next month!
I've heard it said that timing is everything, and this book came along at just the right time for me. Published last month, Vintage by Susan Gloss is a novel that focuses on the life of Violet Turner, who owns a vintage clothing shop in Madison, Wisconsin. After her marriage ended, Violet moved from Bent Creek to Madison to follow her dream to open a vintage clothing store, Hourglass Vintage. Her shop is not only the means by which she makes a living, it's also a meeting place for her. In the first chapter Violet meets April Morgan, an 18-year-old who wants to return her vintage wedding dress because she doesn't need it, and Amithi Singh, a traditional wife and mother who brings in saris and scarves to sell after she learns of her husband's betrayal. In the first chapter, too, Violet is served with an eviction notice at her shop, to her great dismay.
The story is told in the third person from the perspectives of these three protagonists, Violet, April, and Amithi, although I saw this as Violet's story, first and foremost. Each of these women have their own story, and struggles, and each is in a state of transition. As a result of meeting at the shop, they become friends. The friendships in Vintage grow and develop at a believable pace, and I relished reading about the supportiveness that these friends show each other.
Author Susan Gloss uses articles of clothing (and other items, such as Fiesta dishes) to tell stories about the past which pertain to the characters. This is how we learn their histories (or herstories). Each chapter begins with a description of an item, and many of them have a special significance in the novel. (Clothing can certainly have more than a material purpose; it holds memories for a lot of us; I remember what clothing I wore to significant events in my own life.)
The term vintage implies that something has gotten better with age, like a fine wine. Things of value from the past shouldn't be discarded, but recognized and cherished; isn't that the whole the idea behind antique shops and vintage clothing stores? If you're like me, and enjoy browsing in these shops, then you'd probably also enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at such a place. I truly adored this book. I was drawn into the lives of the main characters right away, and I cared about them (other characters in the book include Betsy, Lane, Karen, Jed, Naveen, Jayana, and Sam). Vintage portrays women of different ages and in different roles in a very positive way. It's a charming book that celebrates the beauty of vintage clothing, the value of friendship, and the importance of believing in yourself and following your dreams.
Special thanks to Trish from TLC for sending me an advance copy of Vintage. For more reviews and features, please visit the other stops on TLC's book tour for Vintage.
As always, your comments are welcomed.