Well, grad school is over until the spring semester, I'm finally settled at my job, and our apartment is slowly being emptied of left-over boxes. Time to relax! It feels good to know that my spare time will no longer be filled up. I haven't been able to say that in almost three years, so it's definitely a must-needed break. I can get back to reading, exercising, laying out by the pool (!!!), watching movies, having date-nights, and actually not getting home from work and doing more work. LOVE.
Moving on...we're halfway through the Chick Lit Plus Reading Challenge! I'm having so much fun making excuses to read good books (not that I actually NEED one!). I have actually had the chance to read a few lovely novels this month, as opposed to the typical five or six, and one of them is A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff. Hmm...let's see...vintage clothing, a woman with a sad and mysterious secret, and a simply gorgeous cover. Sign me up!
A Vintage Affair: My 100 Word Summary
Phoebe Swift is quite the natural when it comes to vintage clothing; she's even opened her own shop called Village Vintage. But when it comes to life...let's just say it hasn't been all Chanel and Marc Jacobs. When Phoebe meets an elderly woman named Therese with a heartbreaking childhood secret, she begins to understand what it means to finally let go of the past...and look forward to the future.
A Vintage Affair: What I Think
Three words: Uh. May. ZING.
This book is not only incredibly well-researched, the intricate details of the clothing alone were enough to make me almost trip over my own tongue. Wolff's novel combines my love for history, fashion, and average people who do extraordinary things.
The characters embodied all that is good about humanity: the truth that our flaws, and mistakes, can be used to do incredible good for others. The book is based out of Blackheath, a suburb of London, so when I met Therese, who is both French and up in years, I wondered if her secret would have something to do with the Nazi occupation of western Europe and, more specifically, the Holocaust, which is a subject very close to my heart. And I was right. Obviously, I'm not going to give away the details of Therese's story, but it parallels Phoebe's struggle to forgive herself and provides the foundation for what becomes a sweet (and tear-jerking) friendship between the two women.
I say that the subject of the Holocaust is dear to me because, after I read The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time at age eleven, I began to write in a journal that I have kept for fourteen years. I found hope in words they way that Anne did, and I was irrevocably changed by what I learned was the basis for her struggle. At the age of twelve, I met the woman who became her (posthumous) step-sister, Eva Schloss.
So maybe I'm a little biased about the subject matter, but Wolff did a beautiful job of showcasing the depth of the human heart and the incredible power of forgiveness and redemption.
Until next time,