Do you love browsing the racks at your local consignment shop? Are you intrigued by the stories behind previously-loved items? Or have you just been a person in need of a friend and a dose of hope?

If so, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Vintage, a novel about a secondhand store and the women who gather there. Author Susan Gloss shares, “I hope readers of all ages will find something to identify with in the women of Vintage.”

Three Different Women

A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Vintage is the story of three very different women who strike up a friendship at Hourglass Vintage, a local consignment shop. Each is going through their own struggles, and although their paths are quite different, they each find new hope through their time together.

Gloss says of her characters, “Violet, the shop owner, is divorced and in her late thirties, while her intern, April, is just graduating high school and facing an unplanned pregnancy. Meanwhile, Amithi is facing the challenges that an empty nest brings, as well as questions about her marriage and the choices she’s made in eschewing a career or family life.”

The author can identify with the relationship that her characters forge. “Female friendships have always been very important to me,” she relates. “I’ve noticed that many of my favorite people share the same characteristics in that they are opinionated, feisty and not afraid to speak their minds. A little like Violet in the book, actually,” she continues.

Gloss hopes that readers will take away the message “that friendship transcends boundaries of age and background and that, while none of us are perfect, it is our imperfections that make us beautiful.”

For the Love of Things of Old

If you, like the women in this book and the author herself, are drawn to items from days gone by, this book will hold a special appeal for you. Throughout the book are many detailed descriptions of the items for sale at Hourglass Vintage. Gloss admits, “I’m a bit of a thrift store junkie, so Vintage is the product of many hours spent in consignment and vintage shops.”

The story behind the items for sale at these stores is what draws Gloss to them. She explains, “Every time I find a beautiful or unique item, I wonder about who owned it and why it was purchased or made. There truly is a story behind every object and article of clothing, and imagining what those stories might be is how Vintage was born.”

Vintage Gathering

“Vintage would spark some good book club conversations, especially because the three main characters are at such different points in their lives,” thinks Gloss. To facilitate an engaging dialogue, there’s a book discussion guide available on her website. (But don’t read through it until you have finished the novel. It contains spoilers about how the story ends!)

In fact, your group could make your Vintage discussion a themed event, complete with food and costuming. Gloss has links on her site to her Pinterest boards of vintage snack suggestions and clothing ideas.

If you hold a Vintage-themed get-together, Gloss wants to know about it. She encourages, “I invite book clubs to send me pictures of their Vintage gatherings or to get in touch to set up a Skype or chat session. I love hearing from readers.” To submit a photo of your event, use the link on the book club resource page of her site.

For Your Own Copy

Vintage is Gloss’ first novel. It was released in March 2014 from publisher William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins. It is available from booksellers everywhere.

Autographed copies of Vintage can be ordered online from the Madison, Wis. bookstore, A Room of One’s Own for $25.99. For a personalized message, enter your request in the comments section of the checkout screen.

Have you, like the women in Vintage, formed an unlikely friendship? What circumstances drew you together?

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