on June 17, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance
Also by this author: The Very Picture of You, Shadows Over Paradise
Every dress has a history. And so does every woman.
Phoebe Swift’s friends are stunned when she abruptly leaves a plum job to open her own vintage clothing shop in London—but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream, and her passion. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread—you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life.
Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of elegant suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s sky-blue coat—an item with which Mrs. Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the poignant tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell—one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again.
‘There are some people who say they’re able to ‘compartmentalize’ things, as though it is possible to put negative or distressing thoughts into neat mental drawers to be taken out only at a psychologically convenient time. It’s a beguiling idea, but I’ve never bought it. In my experience, sadness and regret seek into one’s consciousness willy-nilly, or they suddenly leap out at you with a snarl. The only real remedy is time…’
This was an incredible story and not exactly what I was expecting.
The story centers around Phoebe who has just fulfilled her dream of opening her own vintage clothing shop. Her life isn’t completely happy; however, because she’s still trying to deal with the loss of her best friend. She blames her ex-boyfriend for reasons that aren’t explained till the end of the novel.
A side-story involves a French woman who contacts Phoebe to sell some of her vintage clothes. Phoebe visits her and while browsing through all of her beautiful clothes she discovers a seemingly out of place children’s blue jacket. The woman decides to share her story involving life during WWII for the first time in her life with Phoebe. The two are able to help each other by sharing their stories and being able to move on with their lives.
It was truly a beautiful story.