It’s not often I’m lucky enough to come across a book with indulges my love for all things vintage, so I was delighted when I started to read Astor Place Vintage and found that it combines my love of a great story, with a passion for vintage fashion and my fascination for the past.
The story is set in modern-day New York, where vintage store owner Amanda goes to visit an elderly lady who wants to sell off some of her old clothes.
She discovers an old diary sewn into the lining of a fur muff and gets immediately drawn into the story of Olive, a young lady living in turn of the century New York. She also finds that their lives are intertwined in the most unexpected of ways…
I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but sufficed to say there is more than enough intrigue, excitement, romance and unexpected turns of events to keep you riveted until the end.
It also gives you an insight into how difficult life could be as a young woman in the early 1900s. I know very little about life at this time, and some of the things I discovered were astonishing (and more than a little fascinating). It makes you realise how easy you have it living as a woman in the 21st century.
Olive was living at a time when women were only just starting to question things we take for granted now: having the vote, the fact that a single woman should be allowed to book a room in a hotel (without her husband or parents staying with her). Not to mention the serious lack of any sex education, the fact that sanitary napkins were attached to a belt, and wearing makeup was still considered scandalous…
This is a truly wonderful book which I enjoyed from start to finish. It’s always a sign that you’ve read a great book when the characters linger on in your mind. I finished reading it a few days ago and Amanda and Olive keep popping back into my head like old friends!
I simply can’t recommend it enough.
If you’d like to treat yourself to a copy of Astor Place Vintage in the meantime you can find it here.