• Print Length: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 3, 2015)
| Goodreads |
An unforgettable historical novel that tells the story of two long-lost sisters—orphaned flower sellers—and a young woman who is transformed by their experiences
Quite a meaningful story of sisters, embracing love, extraordinary kindness and altruism.
Alternating between the present and the past – London 1912 and London 1876 we read of two young women and their individual stories of their relationship with their sisters ensnarled in misfortune. Parallel, contrasting the stories reveal the bonds and unfastening of sisters.
Gaynor’s extensive research cannot go unnoticed as she delves into the disparity of the wealthy and impoverished coexisting in Victorian London. Introducing the reader to London’s flower girls – crippled and orphaned children selling violets and watercress as a means of survival as they make their home on the filthy harsh streets. These castaway girls steal your heart becoming a fascinating fixture in the compelling narrative. As Gaynor reveals more of these young ladies and of the historical facts you find yourself heartbroken and jubilant.
A majority of the story serves Florrie and Rosie – we understand the insurmountable loss Florrie underwent, however, the reader cannot escape Florrie’s lamentations of losing her sister, redundancy bordering annoying given the fact we learn fairly early on Rosie’s outcome.
All the characters warmed my heart, I found myself drawn to Tilly the most. Her curious nature, her yearn to solve the mystery as Florrie’s diary speaks to her, the fragrance of violets pushing her to learn of what became of little Rosie. Learning of Tilly’s background as well as her cloudy relationship with her sister was needless to say affecting.
A wonderful story revealing the harshness and softness of society, fascinating historical facts skillfully woven into a compelling narrative along with endearing characters.
About Hazel Gaynor
Hazel Gaynor is an author and freelance writer in Ireland and the U.K. and was the recipient of the Cecil Day Lewis Award for Emerging Writers in 2012. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, she now lives in Ireland with her husband, two young children, and an accident-prone cat.
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Excited to be participating in the tour for Hazel Gaynor’s A Memory of Violets, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 18 February. Thank you TLC!