Monday, September 26, 2011
The Road Home
by Arabella Andrews & Emma Taylor from Meg London's Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie Series
Pub Date: September 2012 by Berkley Prime Crime
Emma watched as her Aunt Arabella wiped down the counters of Sweet Nothings, her vintage lingerie shop in Paris, Tennesse.
Arabella looked up. “Yes, dear?”
“What on earth is this?” Emma dangled the garment in the air by its strap.
Arabella laughed. “That’s a bullet bra. The style was hugely popular in the forties and fifties.”
“Women actually wore these?” Emma asked in amazement as she examined the stitched, conical-shaped cups.
“Absolutely. And we’d even iron them to keep the shape. It’s what gave all the sweater girls their famous look. Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe.” Arabella laughed. “And then the sixties and seventies arrived and we all burned our bras and began going au nautrel.”
“Is that when you opened Sweet Nothings?”
Arabella nodded and gave a slightly bitter chuckle. “Yes. I’m not much for timing, am I? But of course here in Paris, most women weren’t into shedding their undergarments. Their main concern was getting married, buying a house and having a family. I saw my shop as helping with the first and last of those at least.”
“What made you decide to come back?” Emma put the bra back in the drawer.
Arabella sighed. “I doubt I would have come back here if it hadn’t been for your grandmother needing help.” A faraway looked suffused her face. “I was in India at the time. It was the place to be—everyone running around looking for enlightenment and a simpler life.”
“Did you like it there?”
“I did. Except for the dreadful flies. And all that curry—breakfast, lunch and dinner. It got old, fast.”
“So you didn’t mind too much…”
Arabella shook her head. “Not too much, no. Besides, it was time for me to stop running around and put down some roots. I wasn’t young anymore.” She turned toward her niece. “How about you? Are you sorry you came back home to Paris?”
Emma shook her head and was surprised to realize she meant it. “Not at all. I’m glad I could come help.” As she gave her aunt a quick hug, the thought of Brian crossed her mind. He was one of the main reasons she was glad to be home again.
But she didn’t have to admit that to Arabella, did she?