Jill G. Hall’s debut novel, The Black Velvet Coat, was hard to put down. The story is placed in modern day San Francisco and San Francisco of the 60’s. Hall merged the stories of two women, each who wore the same black velvet coat, but in different decades.
The first woman to wear the coat was Sylvia. An orphaned heiress who finds herself engaged to trouble. Will she go through with the wedding? The executor of her estate does not seem to think she should.
Fifty years later, Anne, a starving artist, comes across the black velvet coat in a second hand shop. When she puts it on, her life will never be the same again. She is obsessed with the coat and its original owner.
I enjoyed The Black Velvet Coat. There were nights when I stayed up a little longer than I should have to see what would happen next. I can not wait to get started reading Hall’s other books in the trilogy, The Silver Shoes and The Green Lace Corset, also written around a piece of clothing connecting women.
My latest read was a book I asked for and received for Christmas, Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane. Rules for Visiting was an easy read. This book will make one think of the way in which they live their life and the role friendship plays.
The novel is about May, a botanist, and how she decides to catch up with old friends, and perhaps find herself, during bonus time off from her work. May is a gardener at the local university. Being granted a months vacation from her job, May decides to take four seperate vacations to visit friends from her childhood through her college days. While May does have friends of her own, she is often intrigued by other peoples relationships with their frineds. Why does her life seem lacking? Will she find what she is looking for?
Kane’s novel is a wonderful read. A book about life that could easily be made into a movie. It also has plant and tree facts sprinkled throughout the book. This helps define the character and may also teach the reader a thing or two about plants. As always, Happy Reading!