This was a book drawn from my book jar. I was given the proof at an afternoon tea event at Cheltenham last year. Year before? I was with a boyfriend. Oh gosh, that was two years ago. I need to find a husband. Or maybe not after reading The Violet Hill by Katherine Hill. It’s not put me off! More, I’m not in a hurry. This is the story of love and loss for three generations of women. I feel like I’ve typed that sentence before and it’s annoying me that I can’t remember the book! AVA LAVANDER! I just remembered and came back to this paragraph to tell you all I remembered!
The Violet Hour, which took its name from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot, is the story of Abe and Cassandra Green, and the breakdown of their marriage. But it’s also about their daughter Elizabeth, a medical student and her wannabe actor boyfriend. But it’s also about Cassandra’s mother Eunice and the death of her father, it was the day before his birthday and he fell off a sauna he was constructing in the backyard. It’s a typical American family saga.
I didn’t know what to expect with this book. It has been likened to Jonathan Franzen, an author that everyone seems to like but I tried once and didn’t like. But I know I like family sagas that go against the American dream. I like any book full of flawed humans, and that’s what this book is. The dead of Howard is the event that bring this family together to their childhood home/funeral parlour. The family business is a funeral parlour and I loved how this was woven into the character’s histories and shaped who they are.
It was told with love. The characters poured their hearts and exposed themselves. There wasn’t a hint of judgement from the author and I certainly didn’t feel that sting myself. It was just a thing that happened. There were more moments that made me smile then made me sad, considering the story and that’s quite impressive. Like I said earlier, these people are not perfect, they’ve made mistakes but they know they have made mistakes. They want to do better. They’re expectations aren’t high but the want is there. I admire people like that. I loved all the characters. It was an incredibly satisfying read.
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