Tuesday 20 May 2014

The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne

Sometimes you need a bit of brain candy, and I picked up The Vintage Girl in the library as I was in the mood for a light, escapist, happily-ever-after type read.  Evie Nicholson loves antiques and is working for a dealer when she gets the opportunity to value family heirlooms at Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland.  A daydreamer and a romantic, Evie's imagination goes into hyper-drive when she learns that she will be at the castle at the same time as traditional ball hosted by the family (including the handsome heir). Caught up with visions of sweeping down staircases Gone With the Wind style and dressing for dinner, Evie pays little attention to the reality of life for the Nicholson family.  Can she learn to take a step back from her fantasy life?

The Vintage Girl was a lot of fun to read.  Hester Browne is a good writer and the story just flows from chapter to chapter, never feeling too short or too long.  The pacing is perfect and the romance, whilst being rather predictable, builds up slowly and avoids the pitfall of insta-love.  Evie herself is easy to relate to as a main character, particularly for someone like me, who also likes to live with her head in the clouds sometimes!  Equally her love interest, Robert, isn't too perfect, and is shown to have a few flaws of his own.

The main tension in the narrative comes from the fact that Robert is expected to marry someone else, someone rich who can use their money to save Kettlesheer Castle from bankruptcy, and is already in a relationship with this person.  But their relationship never felt believable enough to cause any real problems, and Browne made it too easy on Evie and Robert by making Catriona rather unlikeable, to the extent that it was hard to see why Robert was with her in the first place.   Similarly, this problem was solved too easily later in the novel.  I'm not expecting deep depression or anything like that in a novel like The Vintage Girl, but I would have liked the emotions of the situation explained a bit more.

I would recommend The Vintage Girl if you are after a fun, easy read with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.  It's not the best chick-lit novel I have ever read, but I certainly enjoyed it.

Source: Library
First Published: 2013
Score: 3.5 out of 5


  1. Sounds like the perfect summer reading book...which is exactly what I've been looking for. Your review was awesome; I can't wait to read this. Thanks!

  2. Sounds like a cute story - I really enjoyed 'The Little Lady Agency' by the same author a few years ago, so maybe I'll have to pick this up sometime

    1. I haven't read that one, but I did enjoy The Runaway Princess, it was a fun read too.

  3. Sometimes brain candy is just what you need. :-)

  4. We all need the fun easy reads!

  5. This sounds like the best kind of brain candy!

  6. 'Brain candy' I like that phrase! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one.

    Bits & Bobs

  7. I am so desperate for this sort of book! I seem to have read nothing but war books or slightly depressing books recently. I'll have to check this one out.

  8. Aww, I had no idea this even existed. I read some of Hester Browne's other books - The Little Lady Agency and the sequel- a really long time ago and loved them.

    Now I'm suddenly dying to reread them and buy this one!