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A sparkling debut novel in the vein of The Friday Night Knitting Club, centered around a Midwestern vintage clothing shop and a group of women who eventually transform the store and each others' lives.

At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women who are drawn there.

Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s...
Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. Though she knows the personal history behind each precious item she sells, Violet refuses to acknowledge her own past. When she is faced with the possibility of losing the store, she realizes that, as much as she wants to, she cannot save it alone.

Taffeta tea length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952...
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect 1950s wedding dress, she discovers unexpected possibilities and friends who won't let her give up on her dreams.

Orange sari made from silk dupioni with gold paisley design, 1968...
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her old clothes, remnants of her past life. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears she has nothing more ahead for her.

An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of women's friendship and love, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal and hope when we least expect it.

310 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Susan Gloss

4 books287 followers
Susan Gloss is the author of the novels VINTAGE and THE CURIOSITIES. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in English and Spanish, and the University of Wisconsin Law School. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

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5 stars
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3 stars
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80 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,025 reviews
3 reviews1 follower
February 23, 2014
Vintage was a good and easy read from start to finish. It's the perfect vacation read- not too heavy, a bit cliche, and you could see the end coming from a mile away. But, nevertheless, it was a delightful and worthwhile read. My favorite part of the book was the various backgrounds that the characters came from. Despite different upbringings, we all share the common desire of wanting to love and be loved in return. There are three central characters in the book and each chapter revolves around one of the characters and what is happening in their lives at the moment. Violet, the owner of the vintage store, is the connecting thread throughout the story. The other two characters, Amithi and April are introduced in the story as first customers in the store. Violet gets them to open up about their own personal stories because, like each piece in a vintage store, every person has their own story to tell.

Overall it was a good first effort from Susan Gloss. It is a book that you just take it as it is, nothing more and nothing less. You won't be kept up at night wondering what will happen next, and it won't keep you up until 4 in the morning to finish it but it is a nice addition to your chick-lit library.
Profile Image for Rebecca L..
Author 1 book47 followers
August 13, 2013
Susan Gloss's debut novel is a beautifully written novel about the intricacies of women's lives at all different times in their lives. Gloss has a way with words that at once creates beautiful images and also soothes the reader. Her prose is flowing and graceful and full of the details that make a setting and characters come alive. Her three main characters, Violet, April and Amithi jump off the page and beg the reader to take an interest in their lives. Her cast of "back up" singers is equally well drawn out and intriguing: the drag queens, the wild girl gone maternal and the kick ass octogenarian are just a few of the members of this unique cast.
This is a treat for those who love well-written women's fiction in the vein of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner. Susan Gloss is an author to watch.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews86 followers
July 12, 2014
Susan Gloss

My " in a nutshell" summary...

A vintage store and some ladies with issues...that's the makeup of this book!

My thoughts after reading this book...

Violet loves old things...she finds them, collects them and sells them in her vintage shop.
Violet seems to also collect people...some good...some bad...she has a horrible ex husband, a lovely dog and a mismatched collection of friends. Basically she is happy in spite of being forced out of her lease, wanting a baby, and dealing with other issues in her life. There are other characters...April and Amithi...each dealing with their own issues.

What I loved about this book...

I loved that this book was so sweetly written. It's a story of the lives of these women as they went through some major issues in their lives...infidelity, unwanted pregnancy, death, yearning for a baby, career issues and even more.

What I did not love...

Perhaps this book was a just a little predictable...but that really didn't bother me at all.

Final thoughts...

I found this to be a sweet, calming, delightful book to read. I loved getting to know these women and their issues. I loved learning about vintage clothes. I loved seeing how they dealt with their life changing issues!
Profile Image for Jenn O'Brien.
844 reviews15 followers
April 21, 2014
I really wanted to like this book. I enjoyed the concept of the vintage store. I loved that it was set in Madison and I knew all the locations and places the characters visited. I liked the interaction between the female characters and that they all had such varies histories. And the short inventory summaries were a clever way to start each chapter.

The problem is, I had such a hard time liking this book. The main character meets a guy from her hometown, they go see a fireworks show and then are falling into bed with one another and they are in love two weeks later? Why not build the romance throughout the book? Let the readers get to know this guy, let us fall in love with him too.

We know the main character’s vintage clothing store is threatened by closing, and yet, she is constantly purchasing new inventory and going about her business like nothing is wrong? Why not open up to other characters? Have the females of the story bond together (which they eventually do, but the reader does not see any of the lead up or development to that.)

There was almost too much drama thrown into one book, a business closing; a mean, drunk ex-husband; vandalism; a breast cancer scare; a teenage pregnancy; mental disorders; a parental death; a cheating husband; a frazzled mother; an underappreciated wife; and that is only in the first half of the book. It would have been nice to narrow down all the issues.

Maybe my problem is that I was really hoping this book was going to be a unique vintage store find and it was more like a secondhand garage sale piece on the back cardtable.
Profile Image for Lisa Alber.
Author 8 books66 followers
March 25, 2014
I read VINTAGE during a stressful time. During the day, I couldn't wait to get back to Susan Gloss's wonderful tale of three women who meet in a vintage clothing store. I'd climb into bed and sigh as I sank into Gloss's world of vintage clothes, women's friendships, and life transformations. There's Violet, the owner of Hourglass Vintage, who faces eviction and a life without what she most wants, a baby. There's April, the unwed pregnant teen with a gift for numbers. There's Amithi, who's just discovered the truth about what she'd thought was a stable marriage. VINTAGE is like a good vintage wine: you savor it.
Profile Image for Brenda.
1,463 reviews16 followers
August 22, 2017
This audio did entertain me. The story was very "everyday." The author did make the characters seem to be real people. It took me awhile to pick-up this book, but it was a book worth reading.
Profile Image for Siv30.
2,337 reviews121 followers
February 6, 2017
ספר חמוד על כוחה של חברות נשית.
סיפורן של ויולט, בטסי, אמיטי ואפריל שנפגשות בחנות לחפצי וינטג' שמנהלת ויולט.

לויולט, אמיטי ואפריל ישנם סיפורים על מערכות יחסים עם גברים : ויולט התגרשה מבעלה השתיין כדי לצאת ולהגשים את חלומה, חנות לממכר בגדי וחפצי וינטג'. אמיטי שהיגרה עם בעלה נבין מהודו לארה"ב מגלה שחייה את חייה ב 30 שנים האחרונות בשקר. ואפריל הצעירונת נאלצת להתמודד עם משפחתו של בן זוגה צ'רלי ועם מות אימה.

בטסי היא אחת מהחברות המכובדות בקהילה, היא נדבנית ופועלת למען אמנים וצעירים חסרי יכולת בקהילה. היא וויולט מפתחות קשר רגשי עמוק והיא מביאה את אפריל לפגוש את ויולט ומשכנעת את ויולט לקחת את אפריל להתמחות בחנות מתוך כוונה שויולט תפרוש כנפיה על אפריל.

החברות בין הנשים והתמיכה שהן מעניקות אחת לשניה מעוררות השראה וזה יכל להיות ספר קטן על העצמה נשית. אבל הספר מתקתק מידי והדברים מסתדרים באופן נקי ומסודר מידי.

ברקע של הסיפור, הספר מתאר את החתירה להשגת החלומות האישיים. ספר חמוד מאוד.
February 20, 2015
3.5 stars

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It is a good women’s fiction book. I would not consider this chick lit, as it has some pretty heavy issues. However, they are dealt with care, love, and enough lightness that you don’t get down while reading. There were also quite a few moments that had me giddy and smiling. Is it one I would consider reading again? I don’t think so. But it is one I would recommend.

Every now and then, I like reading stories that bring together different women from different walks of life. Sometimes those stories don’t work for me. But this one did. I loved the idea of the vintage store. It sounded like such a great place to visit with lots of things to admire and try on. I’ve never been in a vintage store, but if there was one like this, I would love to take a look around.

Violet, the owner of Hourglass Vintage, left her husband, moved to Madison, and opened her dream. I wish Violet had asked for more help at the beginning. But I understand why she didn’t. I guess you could say that about all of the women. They all have something in common, but they are all different. April was a sweetheart. I wanted Violet to help her out and allow April to help her. Amithi is a strong woman. I loved reading her story.

Would I recommend it: Yes, if you are a fan of women’s fiction, you will enjoy this book.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Natalia Sylvester.
Author 8 books71.4k followers
March 25, 2014
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Vintage. It's a wonderful, heartwarming story about women's friendships and how the beauty of the things we own comes from sharing them. Violet, who owns a vintage store in Madison, WI, loves listening to the stories of her customers and the vintage items they bring into the store, but she soon learns she may lose her store to developers who plan to take over the property. While she deals with her crisis, she befriends customers of the store who bring in their own past heartbreaks: April, a pregnant teenager who's returning the wedding dress she'd bought at Violet's store but never used, and Amithi, who brings in her decades' old saris after learning of her husband's betrayal.

Gloss tenderly intertwines each woman's past with the artifacts of their lives and those who came before them. Her novel is like foodie fiction for vintage lovers, mixed with a loving portrayal of women's friendships and how we each have to find a place for our pasts before moving on to our futures.
Profile Image for Amy.
492 reviews4 followers
September 4, 2020
This is a wonderful book, reminded me of Rachel Hauck's , the Wedding Dress.. Violet Turner has fled rural Wisconsin from an alcoholic ex-husband and unsupportive family to the lively city of Madison where she has realized her dream of opening a vintage clothing store. Everything seems to be going well but then a situation puts her business in jeopardy. A pregnant teenage mother, whose wedding was abruptly cancelled, an Indian woman who had been selling beautiful scarves but now shares more, a older breast cancer survivor and patron of the arts, and a possible new man in her life, all come from such different backgrounds. But they all come together and rally around Violet, even when life's big questions may not have immediate answers. I just loved this book!!
Profile Image for Heather Webb.
Author 13 books980 followers
March 25, 2014
I spend a lot of time reading novels set in a turbulent past or those which race the clock and leave you breathless. In VINTAGE, I found a new variety of book to love--one that enfolds you in a tale of believable characters you grow to love and root for as they struggle to come to terms with the difficult times in their lives. What could be more poignant than lasting friendship? In my own life--not much, so I related well to these ladies--Amithi, Violet, and April. This novel is reminiscent of THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB in all the good ways. You will think of its characters long after you've devoured it. Highly recommended for lovers of women's fiction and book clubs.
Profile Image for Denise.
757 reviews69 followers
September 16, 2015
Vintage is a nice, easy read with likeable, interesting characters. I am not into vintage clothing but truly enjoyed the descriptions of the clothes and jewellery. This novel has many funny moments and sad ones too. Real characters with real life problems. Will there be a sequel? Would love to stay connected with these people.
Profile Image for Lynn.
861 reviews124 followers
September 8, 2018
I enjoyed this book. Three women, each going through a crisis in their life, meet, befriend, and support each other through life’s difficulties.

The story is set in a vintage clothing shop that Violet owns, and each chapter starts with a description of one piece of merchandise that factors into that chapter. I loved all the details of the clothing and accessories in the shop, and how Violet followed her passion in her love of all things vintage. Now Violet fears she may lose everything she has worked so hard for.

She meets April when she comes into the shop to return a wedding dress she had bought. Her engagement was canceled, and she is pregnant and alone.

She meets Amithi when she brings in clothing she no longer wants, clothing which reminds her of her marriage which has recently brought her heartache.

The book follows the story of these three women as they work through their problems, separately and together. All three women are richly portrayed, as are some of the more minor characters. There are some stereotypical characters in this book, (Charlie’s mom, Violet’s ex) but it’s not like they spoil anything in the plot.

The writing is good for the type of book this is. It’s a light, feel good read. It’s OK that it’s a bit predictable. That’s what you read these kind of books for.

I definitely recommend this book for those who like lighter reads.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,003 reviews413 followers
June 3, 2014
I really wanted to like this. I love vintage items and thinking about what stories they could tell makes me happy. My favorite part was at the beginning of each chapter with a description of a vintage item. I really liked Violet, too. I could see myself being friends with her in real life. Now, if the story focused more on her I probably would have liked this book more than I did. Unfortunately, there was too much going on for such a short book (just over 300 pages). Possible spoilers so don't read on if you don't want to know. There was a drunk ex-husband, un-wed pregnant girl, cancer, vandalism, cheating, etc. I felt that there was too much that I couldn't really "feel" anything for anybody. Too much for a lot of people that the emotions ended up getting lost. Like I said, if the story focused more on just Violet or her and one other character I might have liked it more. The book started off ok but I quickly lost interest.
Profile Image for Penny (Literary Hoarders).
1,143 reviews133 followers
December 26, 2022
A lovely book to close out my reading year with! A nice and lovely story about finding female friendship, branching out on your own and learning your strengths and necessity to have a few good female friends close at hand and in your heart.
Profile Image for Vickie.
1,335 reviews4 followers
August 29, 2016
I just finished Vintage by Susan Gloss and I really enjoyed it. The story centers around three main women: Violet Turner, who owns Hourglass Vintage clothing store; April Morgan, young teen-age pregnant girl; Amithi Singh, a woman looking for a new life after betrayal. All the main and sub characters are quirky but that was okay since it took place in a major university town where quirkiness is seen as everyday life. It seemed to mix with the atmosphere created by the author.

This was a quick and easy read but did have some heavy topics: unplanned pregnancy; spousal abuse; cancer; unfaithfulness, just to name a few. But the book wasn't just about that - it was about acceptance of others; survival; loving unconditionally; rebirth; second changes just like the items in a vintage store. It was about the phoenix and starfish: rebirth and regrowth after personal devastation. This was a good read!!!
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,134 reviews187 followers
March 29, 2014
I took a chance on this book. So glad that I did. This book is a delightful treasure of a read! Violet would be happy that I called this book a treasure. I loved all three women in their own ways. The one thing that they all had in common is that they did not just sit around feeling sorry for themselves, they got up did things that empowered them as strong, independant women. Thus this is why I liked all the women a lot. Plus, each of their stories were good ones. The flow of the voices of each woman to the next was an easy transaction.

Classic line in book on page 226 "Happy endings aren't just for fairy tales and massage parlors."

Yes, happy endings do exist not just in books and you don't have to purchase them.
Profile Image for Dianna Schnabel.
18 reviews
April 14, 2015
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. The writing is amateurish (too much 'telling' and not enough 'showing'), and the author tried to tackle too many characters, with too many big issues, all at once. Violet was the only character I felt was (almost) sufficiently fleshed out, while the other character's stories fell extremely flat. Honestly? I would love to see the author take a few writing classes and then turn Amithi's story into a novel by itself. Her storyline intrigued me, but there just wasn't enough book to cover all the characters/subjects.
Profile Image for DeB.
983 reviews246 followers
March 2, 2016
Total chick lit. A very sweet, not especially impressive story about the women who enter the vintage fashion shop and buy or sell its clothing, all of which bring its history into their lives in some way. Nice for those days when you want a relaxing, easy book you don't need to concentrate on.
Profile Image for Sina & Ilona Glimmerfee.
1,054 reviews122 followers
August 5, 2019
Ein sehr schöner Roman um Freundschaft und Vintage-Mode.Wer gerne Secondhand kauft wird das Buch mögen.
Profile Image for Elisabeth Plimpton.
172 reviews152 followers
January 2, 2018
I loved this book. It was a sweet story of women working together and overcoming their struggles. It was a fun read.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
254 reviews7 followers
March 13, 2017
Sweet story about three damaged women and their shot at a second chance just like the items in Violet's Hourglass Vintage shop. Incorporating the vintage items described at the beginning of each chapter into the chapter itself was fun.
Profile Image for Eileen Goudge.
Author 126 books558 followers
January 2, 2018
Great Book!

Loved it. The essence of comfort read. The lives of three women intertwine in a vintage clothing shop owned by one of them. Made me want to go there if it were a real shop. Highly recommended as a novel.
Profile Image for Jane.
734 reviews43 followers
February 18, 2019
A sweet book about 3 women who become friends thanks to the Vintage shop that Violet owns. They all have their problems in life and love.

I loved the chapter headings with vintage things that Violet had in her store and the stories behind them and how they related to the people she got them from and also how they related to the chapter.

I will definitely read her newest one coming out in 2019.
Profile Image for Cindy.
183 reviews25 followers
August 7, 2019
"I've learned from her that a pretty thing isn't worth much of you can't share it with anyone. It's just a thing. Only when you let others enjoy it, too, does it become truly beautiful." This is a simple truth that Violet, owner of Hourglass Vintage, in Madison, Wisconsin lives by. Every person that walks through her door has a story to share: April, the unwed eighteen year old who returns her wedding dress, Amithi, a strong woman who realizes that her life is not fine like she thought, and Lane, a stressed out mother who misses her love for the theatre. All of these characters and more connect at Violet's shop and learn life lessons from each other.

This book is very charming, but packs some emotional punches on a wide variety of women's issues, such as betrayal, mental illness, and lost love. I liked the clever vintage descriptions at the beginning of each chapter and how she wove them into the story line. It is sweet and somewhat predictable, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read.

Sometimes, you just need a break from the reality of the world's problems. After another weekend of heart wrenching gun violence in our country, this was just what I needed to destress and be soothed. For that, I am grateful!!
3.5 stars
Profile Image for Louise.
1,548 reviews80 followers
April 6, 2014
HarperCollins Publishers|March 17, 2014|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-227032-0
At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell...and so do the women whose lives the store touches.
Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s
A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But while she values the personal history behind each beautiful item she sells, Violet is running from her own past. Faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it alone.
Taffeta tea-length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet's shop, she discovers a world of new possibilities, and an unexpected sisterhood with women who won't let her give up on her dreams.
Orange silk sari with gold paisley design, 1968
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian dresses, remanants of a life she's determined to leave behind her. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her...until she discovers an outlet for her creativity and skills with a needle and thread.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of friendship and style, VINTAGE is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.
The friendship these women forge is beyond beautiful. I totally fell in love with this story and didn't want it to end.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,025 reviews

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