A Vintage Affair, written by Isabel Wolff, is a contemporary British novel about a woman named Phoebe Swift and her struggles with past. Phoebe is experiencing a major transition on her life. She has left her lucrative and challenging job with Sotheby’s to open her own Vintage clothing shop. She has also left her fiancé, for reasons that become clearer as the story progresses.
One Day, Phoebe gets a call from Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, who reader finds out has some sort of cancer. She is looking to get rid of her clothes, and invites Phoebe to take a look. While there, Phoebe discovers a Child’s blue jacket. Eventually, Ms. Bell tells the heartbreaking story of the jacket to Phoebe, who sees parallels to her own tragic past.
A Vintage Affair is a story of life, friendship, disaster, growth, and vintage clothing. The descriptions of the clothes, the setting, and the situations are amazing. There is a romance aspect to the book, but it plays second-fiddle to over-all plot. The book is engaging as it is filled with several bit and pieces of flashback and backstory, which seem to get interrupted at just the right moment–keeping the reader wanting to know more and more.