I get this question a lot. I also see this question posted a lot on facebook. Well, finally, I can answer with a resounding YES. Yes, I do. Not that I didn't already have books that I could recommend. It's just that I tend to read books from over a hundred years ago and I feel like maybe when you get this question, they aren't looking for that kind of book. I rarely read modern books. Not that I'm foolish enough to think they're all bad. I just love reading old books. Specifically books from the 1800s written by women. That is not an exhaustive list unfortunately and sadly, I have indeed exhausted it.
Fortunately, opportunity, once again, fell in my lap! Stephanie Lehmann, author of Astor Place Vintage, contacted me to become a sponsor of my blog. Excited about the prospect of a new book to read (and a lovely new sponsor), I quickly responded and also asked if she would be willing to send me a copy to read myself. Please note, she is a sponsor on my blog. However, it was me that asked her for the book and it is me that is writing this post about said book and I am in no way under any obligation to review it favorably. Luckily, a favorable review it will receive!
For those who are super busy:
Condensed Book Review
for Astor Place Vintage:
This book is wonderful. You should read it
Offered as Ebook and in paperback.
For those that have a bit more time:
Expanded Book Review for Astor Place Vintage
"Amanda Rosenbloom, proprietor of Astor Place Vintage, thinks she’s on just another call to appraise and possibly purchase clothing from a wealthy, elderly woman. But after discovering a journal sewn into a fur muff, Amanda gets much more than she anticipated. The pages of the journal reveal the life of Olive Westcott, a young woman who had moved to Manhattan in 1907. Olive was set on pursuing a career as a department store buyer in an era when Victorian ideas, limiting a woman’s sphere to marriage and motherhood, were only beginning to give way to modern ways of thinking. As Amanda reads the journal, her life begins to unravel until she can no longer ignore this voice from the past. Despite being separated by one hundred years, Amanda finds she’s connected to Olive in ways neither could ever have imagined."
Are you excited yet?! I was! A book about a vintage lover written by a vintage lover?! How could this be disappointing? Plus, half of the book takes place over 100 years ago in old New York City, which makes for a fun adventure in history. The book is written from the perspective of two women set 100 years apart each living in the same area of NYC, so the overlap continually made for an interesting read.
I got this book in the mail, made myself a big cup of tea, took my shoes off, and began to read. I was sucked in almost immediately into these two girls' lives. I finished the book only a couple of days later and still find myself thinking about Olive (1907) and Amanda (2007) at night as I lay in bed. History and those who have lived in it tend to stay with me and I'm always fascinated to think that someone so long ago with just as much life would have sat in the same chair, saw the same sight, loved the same book, touched the same clothing as me today. That sense of others coming before us, shaping the world we live in, and a vague connection to them in general is one of the reasons I love vintage and antiques and this book touched on that same idea.
Honestly though, you don't need a love for vintage to love this book. It is just a great story that is easily relatable, pulls you in from the start, and keeps your interest all the way through. I was sad (as I usually am) when the book ended. I wanted to keep reading, keep listening to the girls' stories.
Reading this book came at the perfect time too. Autumn is always busy, busy, busy and my husband was just injured in an accident which made me rather frazzled. I wanted to escape and relax and peek into someone else's life for a bit. This book gave me that opportunity.
Thank you Stephanie Lehmann for giving me the perfect companion for a cup of tea and a quiet evening of escape. I appreciate it more that I can say.
Last Week's Thursday Thrill: