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Friday, February 13, 2015

A Memory of Violets

A parallel set of stories between two sets of sisters are the basis for Hazel Gaynor's latest historical fiction, A Memory of Violets. One taking place in 1876 between Florrie Flynn and her sister Rosie who find a way of making a living on the bleak streets of London selling bunch of flowers that they could obtain to put food in their stomachs. Spending nights in the shelter of staircases and wherever they could find a place to sleep while waiting til the next morning to sell their bunches of flowers for a penny.

The other story takes place in 1912 between Matilda "Tilly" Harper and her sister Esther. Tilly seems to understand that her mother loves her younger sister Esther more than her and makes her watch over her when they are away from home. Their father has left to fight in the beginning of the war and now it is up to the girls to do what they can to help their mother. When an unexpected accident happens, Tilly feels she is to blame and takes a job helping as a housemother for Mr. Shaw's Training Homes for Watercress and Flower Girls. It provides her safe distance between her family and the guilt that seems to consume her during her quiet moments.

Tilly finds a wooden box in her closet with a notebook written by Florrie to her sister Rosie. She spends her down time reading about the tragic story of the search to find Rosie when she got separated from his sister one afternoon and it would be a search that Florrie would never resolve during her lifetime. Tilly finds a desire to help continue the search with the few clues located in the notebook as well as a wooden peg, a rag doll and a button in the box. She feels that if she can help find Rosie it might help her find her own sense of healing within her own heart towards her sister Esther.

What she finds during the search is how their lives will intersect and all four of their lives will be forever changed by a series of circumstances to bring about healing, restoration and forgiveness. A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor is based on the true story of John Groom who was her basis for the creation of the character Albert Shaw who saw the plight of these children, London's Flower Sellers,  who were growing up orphans with no one to care for them and a fear of workhouses. This is such an incredible novel and one that historical fiction fans will definitely want to pick up and enjoy for themselves.

I received A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are my own. I absolutely have LOVED every single one of Hazel Gaynor's novels. She breathes life into the untold stories that are littered in our history that until they appear in book, they are often forgotten or neglected. I applaud her attention to share this one and the details make you feel like you've gone back in time to the pitiful, bleak and depressing state of the streets of London during that time. At the conclusion of this novel are some great bonuses, The Memoirs of Albert Shaw, The Languages of Flowers, The Story Behind the Story and a Reader's Discussion Guide. For me this is one that will become a beloved part of my personal library and worthy of all 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Memory of Violets, Hazel Gaynor or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Hazel Gaynor on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Memory of Violets, please visit Harper Collins Publisher's website. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you loved this book. I picked it up last weekend at B&N. Had no idea about it or the author. I am going to recommend it to my book club. Thanks for the review!


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