About the Book:
Amanda Rosenbloom, proprietor of Astor Place Vintage, thinks she’son just another call to appraise and possibly purchase clothing from a wealthy, elderly woman. But after discovering a journal sewn into a fur muff, Amanda gets much more than she anticipated. The pages of the journal reveal the life of Olive Westcott, a young woman who had moved to Manhattan in 1907. Olive was set on pursuing a career as a department store buyer in an era when Victorian ideas, limiting a woman’s sphere to marriage and motherhood, were only beginning to give way to modern ways of thinking. As Amanda reads the journal, her life begins to unravel until she can no longer ignore this voice from the past. Despite being separated by one hundred years, Amanda finds she’s connected to Olive in ways neither could ever have imagined.
About the Author:
Stephanie Lehmann received her BA at UC
Berkeley and a MA in English from New York University. She has taught novel writing at Mediabistro and online at Salon.com, where her essays have been published. She currently lives in New York City. Visit her online at StephanieLehmann.com and AstorPlaceVintage.com.
This novel takes place in two different time periods and truly has three protagonists; Amanda, the owner of a vintage clothing store in the present day, Olive, a young woman just recently moved to the city with her father and the city itself - New York. The book would not be nearly as compelling without the history of Manhattan woven into the lives of the women who love it so.
Olive experiences the ups of being a young lady living in the city for the first time as she believes she can pursue a career but soon learns that life for a woman of her time is harsh. Amanda, while believing herself independent lives under a cloud of bad decisions and an inability to move forward in her life. New York continues to change, grow and yet somehow stay the same exciting, vibrant city that so many flock to in search of their dreams.
I enjoyed the circular nature of the book as Amanda goes through some vintage clothes offered for sale and discovers Olive's diary and the story moves back and forth between the lives of the two women. Both were very engaging characters but I found Olive to be the more likable. She really pulled up her bootstraps and just did what needed doing!
It was a perfect beach read for the upcoming summer or a book just to be enjoyed for the fun it provides.
You can purchase Astor Place Vintage on Amazon.com
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Astor Place Vintage from the publisher for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.