Book Review for A MEMORY OF VIOLETS by Hazel Gaynor

A MEMORY OF VIOLETS by Hazel Gaynor
A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
William Morrow Paperbacks
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The best historical novels are the ones that bring you into the world that they are portraying. They act as a portal to a time where some of our favorite characters live. This is why I love reading historical fiction. It has long been a favorite of mine and when I find a new author that captivates me, I feel blessed to be able to get to know their characters better. Hazel Gaynor is one of these authors.

In the early 1900s, Tilly is hired as an assistant housemother to the young women at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. It is there that she discovers a box in the back of her wardrobe that starts her journey to discover what happened to one of the former flower girl’s missing sister. It will not be easy, but struck by the words she find in a journal, she knows that this is what she must do. Along the way, Tilly discovers not only the past but more about herself as well.

A Memory of Violets is the first novel I have read by this author and I am so glad that I had the chance to read this book. The writing flows seamlessly from Tilly to Florrie and back again. I loved how Florrie was depicted. Many times in the beginning of the book, I instantly flashed back to images of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Putting my movie flashbacks aside, even the way that the time period was depicted, instantly transported me back in time. Books like this are the reason why I love to read historical fiction. Hazel Gaynor is truly gifted writer and will most definitely be on my to read list in the future.

Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


About the Book:

In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.

Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.

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About the Author: Hazel Gaynor is a New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author. Her debut novel The Girl Who Came Home won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award and The Girl From The Savoy was shortlisted for the 2016 BGE Irish Book Awards. The Cottingley Secret is Hazel’s fourth novel, and she has also co-written Last Christmas in Paris with Heather Webb, and contributed to WWI anthology Fall of Poppies. Her novels have been translated into several languages. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

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