Astor Place Vintage By: Stephanie Lehmann

Astor Place Vintage: A Novel    I love to read about vintage clothing and found items.  It is nice to imagine the stories behind them.  Lucky for Amanda, she doesn’t have to imagine too much.  She has found a diary sown into a muff that she has purchased for her store.  As she reads this diary, she is transported to another time.  She reads about Olive and her friends and as it turns out, they have lived an almost parallel life.

I enjoyed this book even though I could’ve sworn I had read it before (I haven’t).  I have read other books about Vintage clothing stores and maybe this one is similar, but nonetheless, I liked it.  The details of NYC in 1907 transported me back to that time.  The description of Coney Island made me want to plan my next trip there.  I loved the characters and their honesty.  I highly recommend this book.  I give it 4 crowns for book club groups.

Whistling Past the Graveyard by: Susan Crandall

Image     Growing up is difficult.  It is hard for every child that has ever lived and will be hard for those that are not yet here.  For 9 year old Starla Claudelle, growing up in Mississippi in 1963 with just her Mamie was beyond difficult.  While her daddy was working on an oil rig and her Momma was off getting famous for her music, Starla was left with her Mamie and her Mamie was not a happy lady.  She was mean to Starla and repeatedly told her that she wished she hadn’t been born.

After a series of events, Starla runs away from her life in Mississippi to find her Momma in Nashville.  On her way out of town, she gets a ride from a black woman named Eula and a white baby boy that was called James.  You can just imagine how life is for a white little girl and a white baby boy with a black woman in Mississippi in 1963.  This unlikely combination makes from some dangerous situations.

This is an amazing book and it really shows that sometimes strangers make a better family than your own flesh and blood.  One of my favorite quotes in this book is, “My daddy always said being brave wasn’t not being scared. Being brave was keeping going when you were.”  Please, please, please read this book, you will not regret it!  I give this book 5 crowns for book clubs and individuals alike.