A Vintage Affair

I have to admit that I'm a stickler for an intriguing cover.  Something eye-catching will almost always persuade me to read a description of a book with a title I might otherwise overlook.  So it was with A Vintage Affair - a novel I requested from Library Thing's Early Reviewers program earlier this year.  The title alone was one I may have easily dismissed but the cover caught my eye and the description definitely drew me in.  This was the first work I had read by author Isabel Wolff but it was a wonderful introduction to her writing.

Phoebe Swift, reeling after the loss of her childhood friend, leaves her prestigious job at Sotheby's auction house to open her own vintage dress shop. With a keen eye for fashion and an open ear for her customers, Phoebe has a talent for matching people with their ideal dress or accessories. While buying a collection of dresses from an elderly woman, Phoebe comes across a child's antique blue coat in pristine condition and the story behind the garment draws Phoebe into its owner's life. Phoebe soon discovers that only by revisiting the past can she hope to really move forward with her life.

A Vintage Affair was a wonderful book. Multiple story lines are woven together in tale that is as artistic and charming as the garments that provide an anchor to tie them together. The book is a clever mix of family drama, historical fiction, friendship, romance, and fashion. The characters are well-drawn and entirely believable and the supporting cast is equally as interesting as the heroine. Isabel Wolff has taken a couturier's eye in crafting every detail of this beautiful novel.

The author I was most reminded of while reading this work was Katherine Center, and if I had to choose a read-alike title to compare it to I would pick The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Isabel Wolff's A Vintage Affair is on sale next week, June 22, 2010.  Oddly enough, the Amazon page for this book shows a much different cover for this work (perhaps one is the UK cover and the other is the US edition?) and I much prefer the darker one.  How much do book covers influence your decision to read a book?  Can a great cover pull you to check out an average title?  How about vice versa?

(An Advance Reviewer's Copy of this book was provided through LibraryThing.com in exchange for a review; this review represents my honest and unbiased opinions about this work.)

2 Response to "A Vintage Affair"

  1. biblioholic29 says:
    June 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    I wrote a post about how I judge books by their covers at http://thoughtsonthearts.blogspot.com, "For the Love of Sci-Fi" Let's just say, I do it, but I'm trying not to!

  2. Greg McConnell says:
    June 15, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    There have definitely been times where the cover alone has caught my eye and gotten me to pick up the book. Granted, there has to be something about the story (or topic) that interests me, otherwise I won't actually start reading the book. But what can I say? A great cover helps!

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