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Vintage: A Novel Hardcover – March 25, 2014
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Violet Turner, owner of Hourglass Vintage, a store in Madison, Wisconsin, anchors this debut about the transformative power of female friendship. Each item of clothing in the shop has a rich history, which is why Violet loves vintage clothing so much; her own past, however, with a failed marriage to an alcoholic man, she’s happy to forget. Two other women rotate around Violet and Hourglass Vintage: Amithi, from India, who has just learned of her husband’s affair, and April, a pregnant 18-year-old, mourning the loss of her mother. Both assist Violet as she attempts to raise enough money to buy the shop and prevent developers from converting the building into condos. At the start of each chapter, a vintage item is described—for instance, “White nightgown with the tags still on it. Flutter sleeves. Rosebud embroidery along the square neckline”—which is then woven into the upcoming narrative. Swap the vintage-clothing device for knitting, and you have Kate Jacobs’ The Friday Night Knitting Club (2007), which means Gloss should have a built-in fan base for this book-club-worthy story of redemption, healing, and love. --Ann Kelley
“…This novel is sure to please fans of women’s fiction who enjoy an engaging story filled with plucky characters and second acts.” (Library Journal)
“…Gloss should have a built-in fan base for this book-club-worthy story of redemption, healing, and love.” (Booklist)
“A wonderfully engaging story complete with the true essence of sisterhood.” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties)
“A colorful and charming novel, filled with tenderness for women and friendship. Susan Gloss writes about clothes in such loving detail that every page read like a literary wardrobe makeover…a delicious combination.” (Susanna Daniel, author of Sea Creatures)
“Susan Gloss has conjured up a generous and welcoming world—and the women of Violet’s beloved vintage shop have plenty of grit to go with their glamour.” (Michelle Wildgen, author of Bread and Butter)
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, it starts out slow and I will honestly say, it took a while to grab me. The story centers around 3 women who are involved with this vintage dress store. I won't be one of those reviewers who feel like I have to write "cliff notes", but I do want to point out that the characters are all developed throughout the span of the book. You keep learning more and more about their past and what brought them to the store. Even the owner, Violet; you will learn what drove her away from home and why she made the decision to own her own store.
But once it grabs you, you won't want to put it down and you won't want it to end--both at the same time! If you love character development books, you will love this.
BTW-I read the reviews--both good and bad--of this book before buying, so I was prepared for some "amateurish" writing. Yes, there are a few lines that seems kind of pointless, but overall I liked this author's style and would not call her an amateur at all! Give her a chance. I hope she writes more; she may become my new favorite if she does.
I love a good story! And this was a good story, and a debut novel if I'm not mistaken. The story might not have been written with male readers in mind, but it was a good story ...and even some men like good stories!
Susan Gloss had the makings of a great story and almost pulled it off. But as entertaining as it was, and as good as it was, I just had to deduct one star because a few selected parts seemed pushed a bit, strained, as if not in the natural flow of the story. I had thoughts that those sections might have been added later?? Those parts didn't exactly detract from the story, but during or right after reading those parts, I stopped to wonder why it was included.
But don't be put off or hesitant to read this story - it was a fun and entertaining read. A four-star rating is pretty darned good for a debut novel by a young author. And I'm going to keep my eye out for her next novel ...I'll buy and read it for sure.