By: Vanessa Greene
Published: November 5, 2013
In this debut novel by Vanessa Greene, we are swept away to England for a touching story of friendship and how a vintage teacup can bring three women together for a lifetime. The story begins with Jenny, a bride-to-be in search of teacups for her wedding reception. Upon finding the perfect set, she is surrounded by Alison and Maggie, who also have eyes on the exact same set. An argument begins, but ends with all three women deciding to share it. They agree to let Jenny use it first for her wedding reception, then Maggie will use if for her demanding bridal client's Alice in Wonderland wedding reception, and finally, Alison will use it to fill with her popular candle wax and sell like her other popular vintage tea set candles.
Jenny is about to be married and is having fun finding tea sets to complete her vision for a vintage tea party wedding reception. Out of the blue, someone from Jenny's past appears and brings back lots of painful memories. Jenny isn't sure she can move forward in her life and forgive all the damage that has been done.
Alison is married with two teenagers who are constantly challenging her parenting. Her husband, Pete, has been laid off work and Alison realizes their bank account isn't a full as she thought. The dream that she has been waiting for may not be able to happen and she wonders how her family will move forward.
Maggie has built up her flower business and this next wedding could be just the ticket she needs to make it "big time" and open her second shop in London. Someone from Maggie's past also appears and makes her question her future and the Alice in Wonderland themed wedding she is planning with a rude landscaper may put her business dreams out of the picture.
Of course, these women are of different ages and backgrounds but have been joined together by this tea set. All three women find that they are dependent on each other and each one of them guides the others through a crisis in their life. These women become a lifeline of support to each other through their ups and downs.
The book is set in a small village in England and the writing uses British words that those of us in America certainly are not used to using. It really makes you feel like you are immersed in the English culture with words like "flat" in place of house and "Mum" in place of Mom. Everyone, no matter the age or gender, is ready to share a cup of tea with you at any time of day.
Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the women, with most of them from Jenny's perspective. This type of format always seems to make the story move along quickly and gives you the full picture of their thoughts and emotions.
I found THE VINTAGE TEACUP CLUB to be engaging, believable, and heartwarming. Even though each of the women were at different stages in their life, they were all able to support, encourage and offer just the right amount of guidance to each other. It reminds you of your own circle of friends and how you couldn't have gotten through life without them no matter what stage of life you met them in. I am sure Maggie, Jenny, and Alison will be friends for a lifetime. For all those teenage girls who read SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS by Ann Brashares in 2003, ten years later they can read a more grown-up version of unexpected friendships.
Vanessa Greene hosted her first tea party at age eight, to a select gathering of stuffed bears. Since then she has searched antiques markets all over the world to build up her teacup collection. Vanessa lives in London. THE VINTAGE TEACUP CLUB is her first novel. For more on Vanessa Greene, "Like" her Facebook page, HERE. You can also follow her on Twitter, HERE.
Thanks to Penguin Group for providing a copy of this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way for this review. This review is my honest opinion.