Astor Place Vintage | Book Review

Author, Stephanie Lehmann
Published, June 11, 2013
Publisher, Touchstone
Kindle edition, 416 pages

When a vintage clothing store owner in New York City discovers a journal from 1907, she finds her destiny at stake as the past and present collide.
The past has a seductive allure to Amanda Rosenbloom, especially when it comes to vintage clothing. She’s devoted to running her shop, Astor Place Vintage, but with Manhattan’s rising rents and a troubled economy, it’s tough to keep the business alive. Meanwhile, she can’t bring herself to end an affair with a man who really should be history. When Amanda finds a journal sewn into a fur muff she’s recently acquired for the shop, she’s happy to escape into the world of Olive Westcott, a young lady who lived in New York City one hundred years ago.
As Amanda becomes immersed in the journal, she learns the future appeals to Olive. Olive looks forward to a time when repressive Victorian ideas have been replaced by more modern ways of thinking. But the financial panic of 1907 thrusts her from a stable, comfortable life into an uncertain and insecure existence. She’s resourceful and soon finds employment, but as she’s drawn into the social circle of shopgirls living on the edge of poverty, Olive is tempted to take risks that could bring her to ruin. Reading Olive’s woes, Amanda discovers a secret that could save her future and keep her from dwelling in the past.
It’s Olive, however, who ends up helping Amanda, through revelations that come in the final entries of the journal. As the lives of these two women merge, Amanda is inspired to stop living in the past and take control of her future.

I loved this book.  I am a big fan of Historical Fiction and this one was great.  It reminded me a lot of Sarah Jio novels in the way it alternates between two time periods showing that the present and the future connect.  It also had a little mystery to solve.  
It was written beautifully.  The characters were very real.  I loved that it gave you a true picture of what it would have been like to be Olive and Angelina and Sadie.  Women working in the early 1900's and trying to make a salary and still fit the role of a woman in those days.  It showed just how much and how little women were told about their own bodies and health. 
Olive is such a great character.  She is strong and ahead of her time in many ways.  Angelina is a wonderful pairing for her.  
Amanda is our woman in the present time.  Her life is complicated to say the least.  I love that the choices she makes seem like those that a real person would make.  All the characters have that in common making it a realistic group of woman to fall in love with.  
I would totally recommend it to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction, romance with a little mystery, and Sarah Jio fans.  


5 On Friday

It's time for 5 On Friday!
 This map project by Kelly Purkey.
She has a great tutorial on how she made it, and another.  I totally plan on using it soon to document part of our Spring Break fun.

I am thrilled that Call The Midwife is back on for another season.  I have always liked British comedy on public television.  But this show is just wonderful.  It is very well written and beautiful.  I really get a kick out of seeing how medicine has changed since the late 1950's.

 I am loving these darling little bunny earrings.  Too cute for Easter.

I am looking forward to reading this book on my Kindle.  Check it out.  If you think you would enjoy it, leave a comment and I will be happy to loan it to you when I finish.  

This is so good!  Out pastor's wife made and it and we had it for breakfast on Sunday.  Serioulsy - you must make one. 

I am linking up for 5 On Friday.  Be sure to check out the ladies behind the link up.


When The Cypress Whispers | Book Review

Author, Yvette Manessis Corporon
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published, April 1st, 2014
Publisher, Harper

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne aspires to the American Dream, yet feels as if she's been sleepwalking through life. Caught between her family's old-world traditions and the demands of a modern career, she cannot seem to find her place.
Only her beloved grandmother on Erikousa, a magical island off the coast of Greece, knows her heart. Daphne's fondest memories are of times spent in the kitchen with Yia-yia, cooking and learning about the ancient myths. It was the thought of Yia-yia that consoled Daphne in the wake of her husband's unexpected death.
After years of struggling to raise her child and pay the bills, Daphne now has a successful restaurant, a growing reputation as a chef, and a wealthy fiance-everything she's ever wanted. But across the ocean, Yia-yia can see through the storybook perfection of Daphne's new life- and now she is calling her back to Erikousa. She has secrets about the past to share with her granddaughter- stories from the war, of loyalty and bravery in the face of death. She also has one last lesson to teach her: that security is not love, and that her life can be filled with meaning again.
I loved the description of this book and was excited to get started.  I have to say that I was not disappointed. 
I loved the descriptions of the island that were provided by the author.  You could really get a sense of the island life and almost felt like you had been there.  The island is filled with history, mystery, and myth, making it completely magical. There were also great descriptions of the food that was made.  You could almost taste it.
The relationship between Yia-yia and Daphne is wonderful.  Yia-yia knows just what Daphne needs in her life and  the island is calling her back.  Daphne has fond memories of the island life and has decided to get married there.  Yia-yia still has secrets that she wants to share with her granddaughter.
I truly enjoyed this book.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet, real written, romance.


 Yvette Manessis Corporon is an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and author. She is currently a senior producer with the syndicated entertainment news show Extra. In addition to her Emmy Award, Yvette has received a Silurian Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the New York City Comptroller and City Council’s Award for Greek Heritage and Culture. She is married to award-winning photojournalist David Corporon. They have two children and live in New York.
Find out more about Yvette at her website, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.