A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers

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Florrie Flynn is an Irish flower seller trying to make ends meet in 1876 London. Tilly Harper is running from her past, and takes a job as assistant housemother at Shaw’s Training Homes for Flower Girls in 1912 London. When Tilly finds Florrie’s journal, she takes an interest in Florrie’s decades long search for her sister Rosie, who mysteriously disappeared.

The story alternates between Tilly and Florrie, and though Tilly’s story is explored in more depth, it is Florrie’s character, with her lovable colloquial rhetoric that captures hearts. While Tilly works to solve the mystery of Rosie’s disappearance, she gets to know the flower girls of Violet House, and their work making silk flowers to support themselves. Though the love story that the author has incorporated smacks a bit too much of Darcy and Wickham, the overall storyline is strong and well-researched. Hazel Gaynor’s skill at delineating character is illustrated in the intricately woven personalities she has created in Florrie, Tilly, philanthropist Albert Shaw, and several other characters in the book. A Memory of Violets is an enjoyable work of historical fiction about an often overlooked group of women in history. It is the perfect read for a rainy day.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 386 pages
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 2015-Feb-03
ISBN 9780062316899
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue June 2015
Category Historical Fiction


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