When I lived in New York, I organized a book club and am attempting to do the same here in Chicago. It’s off to a bit of a slow start, but it’s a start none the less. We’ve just read the book A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff and I really enjoyed it. I expected it to be entirely about vintage clothes and the main character, Phoebe’s, vintage clothing store, but it was much more than that.
Through her store, Phoebe encounters a plethora of interesting people. One of the most interesting to me is Mrs. Bell, an elderly French woman who has a past that haunts her, very similar to Phoebe, actually. This story line was very captivating and kept me from putting the book down at night, even when I was crying like a little girl. I blame me being overly emotional on my family cat dying, but it may have just been that moving of a story too. Phoebe works to relive Mrs. Bell’s guilt and in doing so works on relieving her own guilt.
While most of the secondary characters in this book are relatively flat, I enjoyed all of the relationships she has with them. There are a couple of love interests and story lines (I think I found myself rooting for the wrong one) and the story of Phoebe’s mom’s unhappiness is completely comical to me. The way she deals with her unhappiness is not the right way and I enjoy her antics.
I definitely recommend this book and give it a 9.5 of 10. It’s a light book and it’s a really quick read.
One thing we like to do at book club (this was started by my SIL at book club in New York and I think it’s my favorite part) is cast who we think would play the characters if the book was made into a movie. This is my cast and, for the most part, book club agreed with me!
Phoebe (main character): Ginnifer Goodwin not with short hair
Emma (Phoebe’s best friend): Rebel Wilson not as a comedic actor
Anna: I can’t remember who we cast here and it’s killing me!
Mrs. Bell: A white version of Ruby Dee
Phoebe’s Mom: Blythe Danner
Phoebe’s Dad: Steve Martin
Miles: Richard Gere circa Pretty Woman
Roxanne: Blake Lively circa Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Dan: Luke Wilson when he was thinner
Guy: Mark Ruffalo or Rob Lowe
I realize this book takes place in England and none of these people are British, but they fit the images I have of the characters in my mind!
Have you read the book? If you have, what do you think? Do you agree with my cast? If you decide to read the book, let me know if you like it! And, of course, I’m always open to good book suggestions!