A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers (Paperback)
A refreshing story of early 1900”s London history, bringing to light the plight of the young London flower sellers. In a mysterious way, Ms. Gaynor brings us main characters that exhibit never-give-up attitudes and she places us right in the London culture of the afflicted, crippled, and orphaned children. Family bonds, hope, second chances, and overcoming adversity are sensitive emotional themes in this book. Touching and intriguing as well, it speaks “the language of flowers” to us all.— laurie
The author of the USA Today and New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home has once again created an unforgettable historical novel. 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.
About the Author
Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, The Girl from the Savoy, was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she has published The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of 'Ten Big Breakout Authors' for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.
“Hazel Gaynor’s tale of divided sisters conjures a bygone era with a poignancy so exquisite one can almost smell the violets.”
— Kate Beaufoy, author of LIBERTY SILK and ANOTHER HEARTBEAT IN THE HOUSE
“Gaynor once again brings history to life. With intriguing characters and a deeply absorbing story, her latest is a fascinating examination of one city’s rich history and the often forgotten people who lived in it.”
“Given the awards she has already received, we are sure to hear much more from Hazel Gaynor-and that is a good thing.”
— New York Journal of Books
“Gaynor’s talent for evoking a time and place, as well as her ability to write a beautifully heart-wrenching story with realistic characters, enables her to touch readers. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot and jumping of timelines holds readers’ attention to the satisfying climax.”
— RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)
“Historical details and the unique perspective of penniless, physically challenged young girls could make Gaynor’s second historical novel a good book club choice. A tidy ending and sweet romance will satisfy readers hoping to exhale a long, contented sigh as they finish the last page.”
— Library Journal