Select one of the keywords
Astor Place Vintage    by Stephanie Lehmann order for
Astor Place Vintage
by Stephanie Lehmann
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stephanie Lehmann's Astor Place Vintage follows two young women in different time periods. In the modern day we get to know Amanda Rosenbloom, owner of a vintage clothing store. She's unhappily involved with a married man - he won't leave his wife and Amanda finds herself unable to break it off, though she knows she needs to.

Amanda learns of the life of Olive Westcott in 1907 Manhattan through a journal sewn into a fur muff. It's part of a collection of clothing she acquires from a dying old woman, Mrs. Kelly, with an attractive nephew. Oddly, Amanda not only reads about Olive's life, but she begins to see it as well.

Olive moves to New York with her father who works for Woolworth's. He wants her to become 'a fashionably decked-out ingenue', but Olive's sole ambition is to become a store buyer. When her father dies suddenly, she's forced to find a way to support herself, but has to start at the bottom.

Olive befriends the spirited Angelina, who unfortunately makes some bad choices, and ends up desperately needing help. We follow their romantic entanglements in the past as well as Amanda's in the modern day, and it's gradually revealed how they are linked. That question pulls the reader's interest through the story.

Astor Place Vintage is a delightful novel, enhanced by black and white photographs of early 1900s New York City. Highly recommended.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews