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A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
Phoebe Swift, has just opened a vintage dress shop in Blackheath, London. At the same time she is coping with the recent loss of her best friend, Emma. So Phoebe takes refuge in her work – restoring these wonderful old clothes to their former glory so that they can go on to have new lives. But what of the past lives these clothes have lived she often wonders? What stories would they tell if they could speak?
One day Phoebe meets an elderly French woman, Therese, who wishes to sell her some elegant dresses and suits. In Therese’s wardrobe Phoebe also finds a child’s sky-blue winter coat, from wartime France. At first Therese wishes not to reveal the coat’s history but, as the two women become friends, she opens up. Phoebe listens to the poignant story of the little blue coat not knowing that it is to have a profound and uplifting connection with her own life…
I loved this book so much when I read it back 2012. It’s one of those books that helps you shut out the world for a while as you dive into someone else’s life. I loved the setting of the vintage clothes boutique and the main character Phoebe. Isabel Wolff always surprises me with the intricacies of her plot and characters, there is so much more than the usual chick lit fluff. I did guess part of the story right from the beginning but the other parts slowly emerged as I was reading.