Astor Place Vintage | Book Review

Author, Stephanie Lehmann
Published, June 11, 2013
Publisher, Touchstone
Kindle edition, 416 pages

When a vintage clothing store owner in New York City discovers a journal from 1907, she finds her destiny at stake as the past and present collide.
The past has a seductive allure to Amanda Rosenbloom, especially when it comes to vintage clothing. She’s devoted to running her shop, Astor Place Vintage, but with Manhattan’s rising rents and a troubled economy, it’s tough to keep the business alive. Meanwhile, she can’t bring herself to end an affair with a man who really should be history. When Amanda finds a journal sewn into a fur muff she’s recently acquired for the shop, she’s happy to escape into the world of Olive Westcott, a young lady who lived in New York City one hundred years ago.
As Amanda becomes immersed in the journal, she learns the future appeals to Olive. Olive looks forward to a time when repressive Victorian ideas have been replaced by more modern ways of thinking. But the financial panic of 1907 thrusts her from a stable, comfortable life into an uncertain and insecure existence. She’s resourceful and soon finds employment, but as she’s drawn into the social circle of shopgirls living on the edge of poverty, Olive is tempted to take risks that could bring her to ruin. Reading Olive’s woes, Amanda discovers a secret that could save her future and keep her from dwelling in the past.
It’s Olive, however, who ends up helping Amanda, through revelations that come in the final entries of the journal. As the lives of these two women merge, Amanda is inspired to stop living in the past and take control of her future.

I loved this book.  I am a big fan of Historical Fiction and this one was great.  It reminded me a lot of Sarah Jio novels in the way it alternates between two time periods showing that the present and the future connect.  It also had a little mystery to solve.  
It was written beautifully.  The characters were very real.  I loved that it gave you a true picture of what it would have been like to be Olive and Angelina and Sadie.  Women working in the early 1900's and trying to make a salary and still fit the role of a woman in those days.  It showed just how much and how little women were told about their own bodies and health. 
Olive is such a great character.  She is strong and ahead of her time in many ways.  Angelina is a wonderful pairing for her.  
Amanda is our woman in the present time.  Her life is complicated to say the least.  I love that the choices she makes seem like those that a real person would make.  All the characters have that in common making it a realistic group of woman to fall in love with.  
I would totally recommend it to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction, romance with a little mystery, and Sarah Jio fans.  


  1. This sounds so good! I haven't read much historical fiction. I think this is a good place to start. :)

    1. If you have a Kindle, I would be happy to loan it to you!

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