HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz…
Loading...

The Secret Life of Violet Grant (2014)

by Beatriz Williams

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4765432,591 (3.9)12

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
The Secret Life of Violet Grant is a fabulous book. I have read several books by Beatriz Williams by now and so far has she always managed to come up with a plot that fascinates me and characters that I love to read about. Although with this book do I have to admit that the I was more interested in reading about Vivian Schuyler than of her aunt Violet Schuyler Grant. Well, at least at first, Violet's story becomes more interesting towards the end of the book. ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
I really enjoyed it. Upon realizing I am unable to describe the plot without it sounding completely insane, I won't get too detailed lol

Vivian gets pulled into the mysterious disappearance of a relative she never knew of, someone who disappeared 50 years ago.

Lots of twists and turns. The character Vivian is very entertaining, Violet as well, they both face issues of being a working woman with parents who don't respect their decision. But God, the character Walter is so awful. The parts of the story about him where less fun and ran long at times.

Ultimately I thought it ended beautifully.

I have already purchased Tiny Little Thing and look forward to reading about Vivian's sister Tiny. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
Very good historical fiction. This book is two stories in one and sometimes it seems like one story leaves out details Andy also the main character (Vivian) makes some leaps to conclusions but overall a good book. I am definitely reading the other two books in the series and anything else I see by Beatriz Williams. ( )
  NixieH | Aug 12, 2018 |

4.5 stars. Overall reaction: god bless, this how you do a not-boring, awesome dual perspective book. Praise lord.

There are some writers who just hit all your sweet spots -- doesn't matter what the book is, it's like they're writing specifically for you. Beatriz Williams is that writer for me. I LOVE her, unabashedly. Every book I've ever read of hers, I just love. The characters, the story, the writing, I love it all.

That said, this isn't going to be much of a critical book review. I’m touching on stuff I loved, and I loved a lot. I will discuss things that I didn't think worked well, but mostly this will be a review of love.

SPOILERS BELOW. I talk vaguely about character development and plot events. Be warned!

So. This is a book with dual protagonists, Violet and Vivian. We start the book out with Vivian, who lives in 1960s Manhattan and works as a reporter/fact checker at a very prestigious magazine. Vivian is doing this against the express wishes of her wealthy family, who all snobbishly look down at working for a living. They want her to be like them; she wants to be something different.

The action starts when Vivian receives notification that she has a package waiting for her at the post office. While standing in line at the post office, she meets young, attractive Dr. Paul who helps her home with her package -- an old suitcase -- and assists her with unraveling the mystery of why she now has her great aunt Violet's suitcase from the early 1900s.

I'll be honest. I wasn't a big fan of Vivian in the beginning. She's one of those people with an arch reply for every comment someone else makes, even the mundane ones. Initially, I found it a bit much -- but that's exactly what Vivian is, "a bit much" in every sense of the word. She uses excessive wit and sophistication and relentless forced cheer to cover up her soft, vulnerable underbelly. As the story went on, I found her increasingly endearing, while admiring how strong she was as her own person.

Anyway, Vivian sees a story with Violet's suitcase and life -- Violet is alleged to have killed her husband and run off with her lover, never to be heard from again. Vivian decides that if she can get to the bottom of Violet's mystery -- what happened to her? -- she can pitch it as a story to the magazine and secure a job as a full-time reporter.

The novel is split between Vivian and Violet. While Vivian makes guesses about Violet, Violet narrates what actually happened to her. Violet, though, is a different person from Vivian. She is quieter, but also determined to make advances in the scientific field, so much so that she leaves her family life behind to travel to 1914 Europe to study with the eminent Dr. Grant. I loved Violet the best -- she's less flashy than Vivian, but has a fortitude that I found very appealing.

Anyway, while Violet is enduring her marriage and frustrated scientific ambitions, she meets the ever-so-slightly suspicious Lionel Richardson, a Captain in the British Army allegedly looking for medical treatment in Berlin. A highly attractive figure, pretty much everything that her husband is not, Violet starts to struggle with how to proceed as the world verges on the edge of World War I.

Like I said, LOVED Violet. Also, totally dug Lionel. He was honorable and sacrificed a crazy amount for Violet, but you could see why he did it, the characterizations and chemistry of the couple were well drawn. I was with the Violet and Lionel story to the end, hoping against hope for a great outcome. I was less invested in Vivian and Paul. There’s a love triangle involved in their love story, and I kind of hated Paul for a while. Paul does something unforgivable (in my opinion), and it’s left very vague as to what his motives were, even though he vehemently denies any selfish doings. I wasn’t convinced, which soured me a bit on their relationship. This is where the book loses a half a star.

All in all, though, a gripping read. Well-written, interesting characters, great time period… Definitely a recommend for me.

( )
  the_baroness | Jul 12, 2018 |
I managed to put this book down once, then it became the up 'till 2 AM read. I loved the snappy wit of the 1960's New York heroine, and the determination of the 1914 heroine. Two love stories wrapped into a wonderful historical overlay of totally different time periods. I will read more of her work. ( )
  SallyBrandle | Jul 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399162178, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:21 -0400)

"Passion, redemption, and a battered old suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale of lost love and female ambition that crosses generations. 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 detente. 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"--… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Beatriz Williams's book The Secret Life of Violet Grant was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.9)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5
2 4
2.5 2
3 22
3.5 15
4 49
4.5 10
5 31

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,872,881 books! | Top bar: Always visible