Amanda Rosenbloom, proprietor of Astor Place Vintage, thinks she’son just another call to appraise and possibly purchase clothing from a wealthy, elderly woman. But after discovering a journal sewn into a fur muff, Amanda gets much more than she anticipated. The pages of the journal reveal the life of Olive Westcott, a young woman who had moved to Manhattan in 1907. Olive was set on pursuing a career as a department store buyer in an era when Victorian ideas, limiting a woman’s sphere to marriage and motherhood, were only beginning to give way to modern ways of thinking. As Amanda reads the journal, her life begins to unravel until she can no longer ignore this voice from the past. Despite being separated by one hundred years, Amanda finds she’s connected to Olive in ways neither could ever have imagined. (from Netgalley)
This story is told in two voices - present day Amanda and early 1900‘s Olive. I fell in love with Olive immediately. Born into a reasonably well to do life, but in a time when women made few of their own decisions, her life takes a dramatic change. Instead of taking the easy way out, she continues to fight for her dreams to be an independent, career focused female. Amanda, on the other hand, did not sit well with me. I felt she did sometimes take the easy way out and did not warm up to her until almost the very end ot the story.
I love when an author writes in such a way that I end having very strong feelings for their characters. I found myself thinking of things I would say to both Olive and Amanda as I read about their journey. I thought Ms. Lehmann did a great job bringing both women to life. She slowly wove the story in and out to a very interesting conclusion. Her writing is detailed and entertaining.
Many thanks to Touchstone, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.
Publish date: June 11, 2013.