The Secret Life of Violet Grant: Book Review by Arlene
The Secret Life of Violet Grant Review
The Secret Life of Violet Grant is a romp alternating through time, witty and well-written. This novel, steeped in history and familial intrigue will keep you turning the pages and wanting more.
This novel parallels the lives of the two protagonists.
As the story unfolds it is 1964 and we meet Vivian Schuyler, a Bryn Mawr graduate, the daughter of a wealthy Fifth Avenue family who works at the Metropolitan Magazine trying to find her place as a journalist and is willing to put her career on the line to achieve her goals.
The novel then turns back to 1914 where we meet Vivian’s great aunt Violet Schuyler. Violet is a scientist of atomic physics, smart beyond her years, intelligent, brave, although naive in the ways of the heart.
We then go to 1911 and Violet, at age 19, meets Oxford professor Walter Grant, the noted physical chemist who gives her a job at his institute after she has been before rejected. Walter is smitten by her beauty, intelligence and innocence.
Professor Walter Grant and Violet become lovers, involved in a sexual romantic relationship and eventually get married. Here is where the real Walter comes to the surface…how far he is willing to go to get everything he wants and needs. Violet soon finds herself trapped in an unhappy marriage.
Now with that background in check, Beatriz Williams parallels the lives of these 2 women chapter by chapter. It is 1914 for Violet and World War 1 is looming and it is 1964 for Vivian on the brink of a new career. This is a story of spies, double agents and killers attempting to change the course of history at the onset of World War 1.
Vivian receives a mysterious suitcase that once belonged to her scandalous Aunt Violet, rumored to have murdered her husband, Walter Grant in 1914 and then runs off with her lover, Lionel Richardson, her husband’s protégé.
Her Aunt Violet has mysteriously disappeared and has been missing for 50 years and Vivian is determined discover the truth. She is given the chance to investigate this mystery and write about it in the Metropolitan Magazine.
This becomes her full focus at her job and a golden opportunity for her to see her dream job come to fruition. She is given access to the magazines confidential files.
In addition to all this going on she is now developing a romantic, sexual relationship to Doctor Paul, as she calls him, the guy who she met at the post office as she was picking up the mysterious suitcase that belonged to her great Aunt Violet. She falls hard and fast for him only to have a love-hate relationship develop along the way.
When Vivian examines the contents of the suitcase, she discovers various pieces of information which proves a love affair between Violet and an Englishman, documents belonging to an American woman and her son and a journal written by Violet’s husband listing his sexual encounters.
Vivian becomes concerned that the trail of information in the United States has become dry and travels to London to continue her search for the truth. Her quest comes to a close as she sorts the final piece of the puzzle together and resolves the longstanding mystery on Violet’s disappearance and the addition of a young British Army Captain completes the story line so much more than anyone could anticipate.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant Recommendation
This novel has it all, mystery, murder, intrigue, spies, cheating lovers, chaos, hot romance and of course Violet and Vivian!!
I think you will find the author’s technique of using alternate chapters to rotate the story line to be very effective in plotting the novel.
I do not think you will be disappointed!
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