I read a pretty wide variety of books but one area I don’t read much in anymore is Women’s fiction or “Chick Lit” because when there was a huge amount out – around the time that Jennifer Weiner was huge – I worked at a Waldenbooks store. Which as a reader was so not a good idea, I pretty much wanted everything in the store and bought pretty much everything too. Anyways, Women’s Fiction was big then and I read a ton of it until the point that I could pretty much predict a plot twist and ending so I had to cease and desist before I started really hating the genre for being so formulaic. I’ve just now been able to get back into reading in the area.
This book definitely didn’t give me flashbacks to those older books in the genre that I remember reading so that was a good thing for me. Violet runs a vintage store that is a lifelong dream come true for her and something that she truly loves doing. She believes that every piece of old clothing has a story, and when she sells those old pieces she also sells those stories with them. She finds herself with lease issues threatening her livelihood and has no idea what to do. We are also introduced to a few of her patrons, April, Elizabeth and Amithi. All of their stories intertwine with the stories of the clothes to present a cohesive story of the vintage shop.
What really worked for me here was the different voices and different chapters being told from varying points of views. Sometimes that can be really jarring in a book but here it was interesting because while it was individual it was also relevant to the main story and wound together with the clothing as well. I liked how the clothing could really help the story come alive in a way that didn’t seem possible.
However, I wasn’t so sure about each chapter starting with a piece of clothing and who it was donated by. At first I liked this touch until it didn’t relate to the chapter and who was narrating at that time. It confused me after a while when I couldn’t connect the two. The other part that was confusing to me was the use of flashbacks. Between the different points of views we already got, the pieces of clothing and the various characters I thought the flashbacks were over the top and only served to jar me out of the scene. It seemed to me that the few that were included were not necessary.
I would say this was a sweet story and a quick read overall.
I received this ARC via Edelweiss in return for an honest review.