> The Things You Can Read: Review: Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann

Astor Place Vintage: A Novel

Rating:4 of 5 stars
“I had moved to Manhattan from Cold Springs…My favorite part of living in our brand-new apartment-hotel was breakfast delivered every morning on a dumbwaiter.” Thus begins our journey with Olive Westcott, one of two protagonists in Stephanie Lehmann’s Astor Place Vintage. Lehmann has successfully blended the lives of two women, living a hundred years apart, seamlessly with chapters told in alternating points of view. Olive lives in the world of 1907 in the city of New York, while Amanda Rosenbloom inhabits the more modern New York City of 2007 where the term "'vintage clothing' is a euphemism for 'clothing' worn by people who are probably dead.'"  How does Lehmann connect them? The answer is what keeps the reader enthusiastically devoted to finishing the novel.
Once hooked on the journal entries found in an old diary sewn into the lining of a vintage muff Astor Place Vintage becomes one of those books which can’t be put down. Through Olive’s adventures from riches, to poverty, to successful working woman in the “Men Only” Victorian job market of the early 1900s, the reader will experience some interesting twists and turns. Meanwhile, back in present day 2007 the thoroughly modern Amanda struggles to have it all, a thriving vintage clothing business, and a real committed relationship, all of which makes for a spellbinding journey.
An added bonus for those readers who love New York, past and present, is the setting of the story.  As is often the case with setting a novel in a city like New York, the metropolis itself becomes a character. After finishing the novel the reader will view the "Big Apple" with new more knowledgeable eyes.  Lehmann subtly shares historic New York architectural trivia. These tidbits are scattered everywhere, and eventually become key to revealing the connection which is shared by our protagonists, Olive and Amanda, and, more importantly, each woman’s connection to the ninety-eight year old antagonist, Jane Kelly. With this key interrelationship disclosed, Lehmann successfully brings the reader full circle with a realistic and satisfying conclusion to Astor Place Vintage.

I would like to thank Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for providing an Advance Readers Copy (ARC) of Astor Place Vintage  by Stephanie Lehmann.

Additional Resources:
Goodreads Summary:  Click HERE
Author Information on Stephanie Lehmann:  Click HERE
NYC Architecture:  Click HERE

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Touchstone Books: Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann

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