BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Vintage by Susan Gloss

VintageA divorcée with her baby clock ticking, a teenage-math-prodigy-mother-to-be who no longer needs that wedding dress, and an immigrant Indian woman who’s just found out her husband has spent the better part of their three-decade marriage lying to her, gather in a vintage clothing shop in Madison, Wisconsin where they rejuvenate and transform each other’s lives. If that sounds just lovely, well … this is. If you’re needing an aural treat, it’s crisply narrated by Karen White who’s not bad with that pseudo-Indian accent, but shines best with those overprivileged wealthy doyennes, snooty and caring both. Whichever medium you choose, attorney/blogger/author Susan Gloss‘ debut novel is a feel-good story you’ll be relieved to escape into, with just enough bumps and potholes that ensure it never devolves into an unbelievable fairy tale. That said, don’t not expect a happy ending and more …

For one reason or another, I’ve been unluckily choosing/been assigned title after title populated with petty, back-stabbing, miserable, horrifying girls and women: fatal revenge in the Burn for Burn trilogy, best-friend cruelty complete with nasty fat-jokes in The Possibilitiesridiculous self-absorbed judgments in Rufi Thorpe’s The Girls of Corona del Mar, control-addicted lying best friendship in Paper Airplanes, and mean girl gossip-mongering bullying in Andrea Portes’ Anatomy of a Misfit (which happens to be the current Big Library Read choice, oh no!). Don’t worry, I won’t be posting about the latter three books beyond this; if nothing else, just reading such titles has left me feeling like I need multiple cleansing showers after being exposed to so much bad behavior.

Call me Pollyanna, but girls and women are just not that evil. At least – oh so gratefully! – not any of the women I know well. Thank goodness for books like Vintage to remind us of how supportive, caring, and boosting women are to each other, even through the cranky impatience, angry misunderstandings, and occasional bouts of self-pity. In creating her shop, Hourglass Vintage, Violet has opened her doors to more than just clothes and accessories. Into that haven walks in a distraught 18-year-old April, who grew up with an unreliable mother with a mental illness, who’s recently been abandoned by her baby’s father. And then there’s Amithi who, although has the lowest page count, makes some of the most life-changing decisions of all.

With each other as sounding boards, cheerleaders, voices of reason, and not all-knowing advisers, the three women cry, laugh, yell, glow themselves out of their emotional traps. In between the manipulations and tragedies that define too many books on my shelves, here’s welcome affirmation of why we will always need our true women friends.

Readers: Adult

Published: 2014


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