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The Secret Life of Violet Grant’s Back-of-book Description:
Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale.
Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.
Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.
As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.
I actually received The Secret Life of Violet Grant as a gift from a person who, at the time, didn’t know me all that well, but knew I liked to read. I can’t imagine that buying a book for someone you don’t know very well is an easy task, but nevertheless, she hit it out of the park with this one! I really, really liked this book! It was the first historical fiction book I’d read in a long time and I think it really reignited my love for that genre. It made it extra interesting that it switched from one era to another, both time frames being in the past. Both main characters in BOTH time frames had interesting and compelling stories of their own, making every switch a cliff hanger of sorts.
This was the first book by Beatriz Williams that I had read but I’ve since realized that she has written others, and I definitely plan to pick up a few more. I think they probably all fall into the “beach read” category in that they are light, easy to read, and you can usually finish one in a weekend. That was definitely the case with The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
I found myself completely sucked in to this story and I could not put it down! Her writing was engaging and the story was completely enthralling. She did a wonderful job keeping people interested while also providing natural story breaks so that you could walk away for a moment, which I think is kind of important. Every switch from Violet to Vivian made me want to stay up and keep reading just so I could see what was going to happen next, but sometimes it was nice to have the opportunity to put it down if I needed to sleep or engage in real life with real people.
My Favorite Quotes From The Secret Life of Violet Grant:
“A million other lives play out on your doorstep, and not one of them gives a damn about your little problems. Life goes on and on and on.”
“I subscribed to the general theory that the worst room in the best hotel was better than the best room in a second-rate hotel.”
*I genuinely believe that as well!
“I thought, how magical, the first glimspe of snow. By March I would be sick of it, but here in this November instant those tiny flakes swirled with the unspeakable purity of a divine gift.”
This book gets 4 stars for sure. If you’re into historical fiction and period romances, I highly recommend it! Additionally, if you’re looking for a good gift book, this would be a great choice!
Check out the Pin-able quotes below!