It is said that you should never judge a book by its cover – but I’m about to be really judgy about book titles! I have to confess if something says ‘vintage’ or ‘shop’ or even worse ‘vintage teashop / teashoppe’ – then it is likely to be a no from me before even reading it. However, having adored Libby Page’s previous books – I decided to give this vintage shop a chance, and I am very pleased I did.
Here’s the blurb:
“Among the cobbled streets of the Somerset town of Frome, Lou is embarking on the start of something new. After the death of her beloved mother, she takes a deep breath into the unknown and is opening her own vintage clothes shop.
In upstate New York, Donna has just found out some news about her family which has called into question her whole upbringing. The only clue she has to unlock her past is a picture of a yellow dress, and the fact it is currently on display in a shop in England.
For Maggy, she is facing life as a 70-something divorcee and while she got the house, she’s not sure what to fill it with now her family have moved out. The new vintage shop in town sparks memories of her past and reignites a passion she’s been missing…
Together, can these three women find the answers they are searching for and unlock a second chance at a new life?”
You are initially following the stories of Lou, Donna and Maggy – and a girl in a yellow dress (but you don’t know her name) – and the stories are separate, but then start to entwine. The relationship between 20 something Lou and 70 something Maggy reminded me very much of Libby Page’s debut novel, The Lido, and the connection in that book between Kate and Rosemary – just lovely.
Whilst the ladies are the main characters, there are a supporting cast of family and friends – and potential love interests – but the book fundamentally revolves around female friendship in the midst of family upheavals of different sorts.
It’s beautifully written, captures emotions and relationships well, and has enough twists and turns to not be too predictable.
The descriptions of Somerset and the East coast of the US – are both done well and make you feel like you’re there.
There is minimal sex (all tastefully written), no drugs (apart from glasses of wine) and not quite rock and roll (but there is a band playing at a party) – and is just really ‘nice’.
A lovely, gentle, escapist read – and out in February 2023.
A big thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my ARC.