Imagine, a journal from the past connecting two different women. One woman from present day is a vintage clothing store owner having an affair with a married man and uncertain about the state of her life. Another woman from 1907 is left with an uncertain life after the death of her father and a great desire to make something of her life in a repressive Victorian society. Amanda and Olive couldn't have been more different yet their desires, hopes, and dreams and that a journal from the past connected them. In "Astor Place Vintage" by Stephanie Lehmann, readers are introduced to women from different time periods and watch as their stories intertwine and connect.
The novel begins with the story of Amanda, a vintage clothing store owner who lives in New York City in present day. Amanda is in her late 30's and unhappy with the state of her life. Her business is at risk and she's having an affair with a married man. She wonders if she'll ever find true love, have a child, or even true happiness. One day, Amanda comes across a diary from 1907.and that is where Olive's story begins. Amanda is transported back to New York City in 1907 where Olive is a intelligent and strong young woman living a comfortable life with her father. When her father is unexpectedly killed, Olive has to enter a new world, the world of being a New York City shopgirl. Olive rises to prominence as a shopgirl and meets new people and encounters new experiences that change her life forever. Olive transforms as a young woman despite the restrictions of the Victorian period. This is the story of two different women in different time periods who end up sharing a surprising connection to one another.
"Astor Place Vintage" is a nice fun and fluffy read. It is really fun to read about present day Amanda's struggles and understand and sympathize with her, but it is also great to read about Olive's struggles during the Victorian period. It is an enjoyable read because you get the past and the present day, it's the perfect combination.
Both female characters are also very interesting and complex. Amanda is frustrating with her bad decisions and whining, but you also can respect her for her independence, her love of fashion, and how much of a free-spirit she is. Olive is a delight to read about. Intelligent, determined, and kind, you will applaud as she makes her way with her career in a time when women rarely worked, has her first sexual awakening, and maneuvers her way in the world all by herself. These are two fascinating female characters!
Sadly, the novel disappoints in the end. It is all wrapped up too quickly and leaves the reader wanting more. You'll be enjoying the novel so much that you'll have wanted more of an ending and to have spent more time with these two characters.
"Astor Place Vintage" is most definitely an enjoyable and light read. Anyone who loves reading about the past and the present will enjoy this book. Lovers of fashion will also enjoy reading about the all the vintage outfits. Lastly, any fan of New York City will enjoy this wonderful tribute to the city. Enjoy reading!
To purchase "Astor Place Vintage": http://www.amazon.com/Astor-Place-Vintage-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B00A280ZNC
For more information on Stephanie Lehmann: http://www.stephanielehmann.com/