Monday, May 15, 2017

A Memory of Violets - First Paragraph / First Chapter / Tuesday Intros and #TeaserTuesday

I enjoyed this novel about orphaned flower sellers in 1870s London (remember Eliza Doolittle?) with a second plot that takes place in 1912. The author's descriptions were beautiful, the plots held my attention, and I cared about the characters. Her depiction of the grim life of impoverished children in London during that time was vivid and must have been the result of extensive research. The only slight complaint I have is that some aspects of the story were a little too coincidental to be believable to me. Are you bothered by coincidences?

Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Length: 386 Pages
Amazon Link: A Memory of Violets
Author Website: Hazel Gaynor

First Paragraph:
     Mammy once told me that all flowers are beautiful, but some are more beautiful than others. "Same with babies," she said, 'cause I was after saying that little baby Rosie looked like a rotten old turnip, what with her face all purple and scrunched up. "All babies look like rotten old turnips at first," Mammy said. "She'll be all smoothed out by Lady Day. You wait and see."
     She was, too. All smoothed out. After turning into a real pretty little thing she was then, 'specially with that hair. Red as the flames in the costers' smudge-pot fires.

Teaser (from Page 162 in the paperback):
In the north, nobody would know anything about them. In the north, they could be whoever they wanted to be and, perhaps, if they were farther away from London, farther away from the memories, Violette might forget about her sister.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Step into the world of Victorian London, where the wealth and poverty exist side by side. This is the story of two long-lost sisters, whose lives take different paths, and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences.
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.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too.
Link up HERE

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger

Facebook: sandy.nachlinger


Emma Littlefield said...

I'm not much of a one for historical fiction so I don't think this is for me but glad you enjoyed it.

Kay said...

I think the cover is quite lovely. I'm also not much of historical fiction reader, unless there is a mystery involved. However, I like the sound of the story. Glad it worked so well for you!

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian said...

This one has been on my list for a while now. Glad you enjoyed it.

Majanka Verstraete said...

Love the comment about babies, and the cover looks great. Nice teasers!

Here's my teaser.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Descriptive excerpts, and I like Mammy's view of babies. Stories about long-lost family members always clutch at my heartstrings. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Kym Thorpe said...

I think I'd like this one! And the cover is gorgeous. Thanks for visiting my Teaser today!

Margot said...

This sounds like a sweet story. At least it's off to a good start. I'd keep reading.

Laura Thomas said...

This would be such a good movie. I don't know why, but I seem to watch more historical fiction than read it.

My TT from Nothing Left To Lose

proxyfish said...

I love that description of the baby! Mammy sounds like quite the character. I think I'd quite enjoy this :D

duskrider3740 said...

I love that cover, and your teasers sound interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Sandra,

I have quite eclectic reading tastes, so historica fiction quite often crosses my desk, as a slightly lighter interlude between my favourite psychological thrillers and murder mysteries.

I like everything about 'A Memory Of Violets', from its evocative cover, to your own final thoughts about the story. Whilst my TBR list and review obligations are huge right now, I definitely shan't be forgetting about this one in a hurry!

Thanks for sharing and have a good week :)


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I'm not a huge historical fiction fan and the "mammy" turned me off even more:( Hope you enjoy it.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Some of the book is written in Irish dialect. That's where the "mammy" came from.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I've been reading a lot of historical fiction lately, for some reason, and enjoying it.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I like the cover, too. Very sweet.

Iliana said...

What a lovely cover! I enjoy historical settings so this one I might have to check out!

Cleo Bannister said...

Ooh yes I do like good historical fiction so I will be looking out for this one.

Nise' said...

The intro really grabbed me.

William Stanger said...

I love the 'rotten old turnip' description in the opening. Hope you enjoy this one.

Laura said...

Sounds interesting. Hope you're enjoying it!