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Astor Place Vintage

Astor Place Vintage

A Novel

  • reading group guide
When a New York City vintage clothing shop owner’s recent purchases contain a hidden journal from 1907, her entire life will be turned upside down in this “insightful, charming, and wholly entertaining novel” (Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner).

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.
Choose a format:
  • Touchstone | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451682052 | 
  • June 2013
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List Price $16.00
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Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann

Stephanie Lehmann talks about Astor Place Vintage and writing a historical novel.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Astor Place Vintage includes discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Stephanie Lehmann. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. When Amanda first visits Jane Kelly’s apartment to assess her clothes, she ponders, “funny how styles from your own parents’ day tend to call out with that seductive aura of nostalgia” (page 10). What era’s styles appeal you?

2. While Amanda is being hypnotized, her doctor asks her to think of a place that makes her feel “comfortable and content” (page 29), and she has some difficulty deciding on one. Why do you think it was such a challenge for her? What place would you choose?

3. Olive is both unable and unwilling to rely on financial aid from men—from her father or a potential husband—yet Amanda regularly accepts checks from her married lover, Jeff. Which of the two women seems more modern?

4. Amanda’s fascination with history was originally inspired by her collection of Time-Life books called This Fabulous Century. She thinks, “I used to pore over every word and stare at the glossy photographs with la see more

Articles About This Book

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Posted by Abby

Missed our feature last week on the amazing giveaway ten historical novelists have cooked up? There's still plenty of time to enter and win! Today's feature is brought to you by Alison Atlee, author of THE TYPEWRITER GIRL. Go to her blog or FB to...

About the Author

Stephanie Lehmann
Photograph by Charity De Meer

Stephanie Lehmann

Stephanie Lehmann received her BA at UC Berkeley and a MA in English from New York University. She has taught novel writing at Mediabistro and online at Salon.com, where her essays have been published. She currently lives in New York City. Visit her online at StephanieLehmann.com and AstorPlaceVintage.com.

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