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The Secret Life of Violet Grant

(Schuyler Sisters #1)

by
4.01  ·  Rating details ·  21,880 ratings  ·  2,218 reviews
New from the author of A Hundred Summers: a story of love and intrigue that travels from Kennedy-era Manhattan to World War I Europe…
A People StyleWatch “Must Read Book”
One of Reader’s Digest’s Top Summer Thrillers of the Year
Fresh from college, irrepressible Vivian Schuyler defies her wealthy Fifth Avenue family to work at cutthroat Metropolitan magazine. But this is 1964
...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Berkley (first published 2014)
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Community Reviews

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4.01  · 
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 ·  21,880 ratings  ·  2,218 reviews


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Erin
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t normally read New York Times Bestsellers in the pulp fiction category. I’m normally a “literary fiction” type who occasionally dabbles in poetry and short stories. That is to say, I’m normally a book snob. During my year reading a 100 books I read some bestsellers and non-fiction, but even then I remained committed to my choice-genre. So when I discovered Beatriz Williams was a NYT bestseller of the pulp fiction variety, I began reading The Secret Life of Violet Grant with an arrogant de ...more
Patty
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Life Of Violet Grant
By
Beatriz Williams


What it's all about...

Well...it's about a mysterious battered suitcase and what happens because of it.


My thoughts after reading this book...

Oh my goodness I had much love for this book. It had two awesome superstar heroines, lots of mystery, lots of banter, lots of cocktails, espionage, broken hearts and international travel! Plus did I say amazing lunches of tomato soup and grilled cheese and yummy breakfasts of Yuban coffee, bacon, scrambled egg
...more
Christina
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars!

The year is 1964. Vivian Schuyler, fresh from Bryn Mawr college, has defied her family's wishes for her future by finding work at Metropolitan magazine. She hopes to be a writer, but her editor dismisses her, making her good for nothing more than grabbing his coffe and checking the occasional fact. When an unexpected parcel arrives for her, it starts a journey into the life of an aunt that she never knew and a scandalous story to go with it...hopefully If she can uncover the full story,
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Katz Nancy from NJ
I toyed with the idea of giving this book a one star rating but thought I'd be kind. I really disliked this book and don't think I'll read this title again. The premise was a good one. A young woman who yearns to be a journalist receives a valise from a name she doesn't recognize. From here the book takes on two different stories which are from the present and back to 1914.
I found the modern day dialogue ridiculous as well as one of the main character's interest in a man she meets at the post of
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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
A suitcase full of secrets? A suitcase that opens up the proverbial can of worms which leads Vivian Schuyler to find out about her aunt who supposedly murdered her husband.

Once Vivian found out some juicy details about her aunt, she couldn't stop researching her life. This could be her big break at the magazine with this story.

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT goes back and forth between Vivian's life and Aunt Violet's life. Are there parallels between their lives? Vivian wants to know about her a
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Cameran
DNF -- July 2014

Unfortunately this is the second Beatriz Williams book that has not gone over well with me. I wanted to like this story, and I was very intrigued by the synopsis and the beautiful cover. But my impressions of the characters evolved to such a point that I decided to abandon this book almost exactly at the halfway mark.

Vivian, no matter how much I love her name, got on my nerves. I felt as if the attempt to make her this damaged woman who uses wit to protect herself was completely
...more
Karin
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read an excerpt of this in a magazine and was hooked on the plot so I ordered the book from the library. Once I started reading, I was sadly disappointed. While the plot is interesting and the characters are great, the book is overcome with worldliness. There is so much bad language, drinking, smoking and descriptions of sex that I could not continue reading.
MissSusie
I so wanted to like this book, the description sounded like something I would really like but this one fell short for me. I won this book from librarything early reviewers but had a hard time getting into it so got the audio hoping it would be better but for over half of the book all I wanted was for it to be over.

I love dual storylines in historical fiction and that was what I was expecting but this book is Romance, lots of sex (very descriptive) and once you get through that there is a little
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Dana
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This was a great story, alternating between two storylines ~ Violet (1914) and her great-niece, Vivian (1964). Part mystery/part romance, this is the first book in the Schuyler Sisters series and my first Beatriz Williams novel. I look forward to the other two and more of Williams' work.
Jody McGrath
Actually, I would rate it a 3 and 1/2 stars.

It is two stories, told in alternating chapters, taking place in different times in history. Violet is a young and innocent American scientist studying in England in 1912ish. Her storyline is about illicit love affairs and the beginning of WWI. Vivian's storyline takes place in the 60s I believe (I can't remember now), and is also about a love affair, but it is also about her learning the existence of her Aunt Violet and trying to put together the piec
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Amy
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing says summer reading like a big, thick pager turning novel that is enjoyable but not to provocative or complex. The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams fits those criteria and then some. Opening in 1964 when young Vivian Schuyler, recent Bryn Mawr graduate, has defied the wished of her privileged Fifth Avenue parents and taken a job and an apartment. Vivian is the very definition of a modern woman, not content to marry her way to her future she intends to live her life to the ...more
JudiAnne
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel has been referred to as a beach read. A beach read is not great literature and perhaps you wouldn’t want to put it on your bookshelf between, lets say, War and Peace and Oliver Twist. I know for sure when I pick up a book in this genre it’s going to be light, fluffy, and a lot of fun but not to be taken seriously and that is exactly the genre The Secret life of Violet Grant falls in. It served me very well being a lighter break, in between deeply serious novels and the absolutely perf ...more
Laurel
I will not keep you in suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females. I adored this novel. Even thought the combination of story lines, both historical (1910's) and contemporary (1960's) was brilliant, I has truly taken with the contemporary plot line much more. Heroine Vivian Schuyler receives a vintage suitcase from the past from her great aunt Violet Grant, the rich New York Schuyler family black sheep - sending her on a mission of discovery into her aunt's scandalous life as a ...more
Jennifer
Love. Intrigue. Deceit. Mystery. Honor -- Beatriz Williams has done it again with this tale of two strong convention-bucking women from the Schuyler family. The story is told from the point of view of two narrators -- Violet, who heads to Europe in the 1910s to pursue her passion for science while her peers head off to "finishing schools"; and Vivian, her great-niece, who doesn't want to settle for the "Mrs. degree" and stands ready to give up a chance a love for a chance at the journalism caree ...more
Jamise // Spines & Vines
Historical fiction, romance, war, murder, adultery unexpected twists and turns... the perfect ingredients for a fantastic read!! I truly enjoy how this author makes the characters relevant and relatable, you either love or hate them. I equally enjoy how characters from previous books make subtle but meaningful appearances. Beatriz Williams never disappoints!
Lisa Mcbroom
Jun 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment! The premises sounded wonderful... set in the 1960's a young woman discovers her aunt Violet's secret suitcase of documents during World War II but the writing is horrible and the heroine just makes you want to put a spike in your head!!!!
Sharon Huether
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, novel
What a story! The brown leather suitcase is the center of attention. It belonged to Vivians Aunt Violet, before WWI 1914 while she was in Germany. The story weaves it mystery back and forth from 1914 to 1964. There are twists and turns, then the great escape. Loved the book. I've read another book by Beatriz Williams, it was very good so I knew this one would be too.
Erika Robuck
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One hears so much about “voice” in fiction, and rarely is the power of voice more clear as it is in the work of Beatriz Williams. Yes, the plot is engrossing, the story fascinating, and the setting luminous, but the real draw of Williams’ novel is that feisty, zingy, pop-an-olive-into-your-mouth-from-your-martini-while-giving-the-gossip voice of the narrator, Vivian Schuyler. The reader will know after approximately 1.6 pages with Vivian that they will devour the next 400+ pages just to lean a l ...more
Stephanie
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I started reading The Secret Life of Violet Grant I knew I was going to love it. I immediately fell in love with Vivian Schuyler, she is a spunky independent women trying to make her own way in New York City in 1964 despite coming from a family of great wealth. One Saturday morning she is delivered a long lost suit case that once belonged to a great Aunt of hers, an Aunt she never knew about.

Violet Schuyler is also a women of great independence, living in Europe in 1914 as a young sci
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Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Vivian is the niece of a brilliant scientist named Violet who has quite an interesting past. She has never even heard of her Aunt Violet until a package shows up for her at a Manhattan post office. The package is Violet's old and once missing suitcase. When she asked her well-to-do family about Violet, they seemed to horrified by her scandal. She has been missing for about fifty years and has a dark past, which intrigues Vivian to no end as she is an aspriing journalist working for a New York Ci ...more
Holly
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This was an enjoyable summer read. I debated between 3 and 4 stars but decided on four stars because it definitely held my interest. I preferred Vivian over Violet though. Loved Vivian's tenacity, her sarcastic behavior, and wit. Violet was little boring and, maybe, a little too naïve. She let her sex-addict husband rule her world that's for sure. And speaking of sex....there was a lot of it. Nothing too graphic but it was there. Except there were some crude mentions of sex in one part of the bo ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
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.
BookishStitcher
The vast majority of this two perspective historical fiction novel, I was bored and didn't really want to read it. I will say that the last 10 pages proved very interesting, but on reflection that wasn't enough to merit raising the star rating. This novel tells the story of two women one in 1913 and one in 1964. Their complex love lives and their struggle to advance their careers.
Deanna
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A generous, new-to-me-author but still what-was -I-thinking, 2 stars.

Historical fiction is a risky genre for me. Like “contemporary fiction” it’s often a euphemism for something on the wide spectrum of romance-pulp-melodrama-sentimentality-contrived feel the feels, a whole spectrum of things that rarely, though not never, works for me.

This one was so many things that simply aren’t for me that we are better off without me attempting to describe it. I’ll just say it was nothing of what I expecte
...more
Stephanie Kline
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was an absolutely fabulous read - very similar to a Kate Morton (past/present) historical novel, but with an entirely different writing style and voice. I was absolutely captivated from page one, and looked forward every day to reading this.

Vivian Schuyler, a modern day woman in 1964, receives a mysterious suitcase one day at her New York City apartment. It's been forwarded from her mother, but the original sender is anonymous. Through a bit of digging, Vivian discovers that this suitcase
...more
Kim
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars!
Marleen
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beatriz-williams
I have to admit that I didn't expect to love this book so, so, so, so, much, but the character of Vivian Schuyler was simply irresistibly charming, and so witty and with such a big heart.
Oh, and then that very specific language of the Upper East Side established families; it's so debonair, funny yet sophisticated, it was as if I was in the presence of young Katherine Hepburn (smile). I loved the story, the backdrop, and I very much loved all the characters in this story, set in 2 eras : one wit
...more
Michelle
Finally my reading mojo is back! Two great ones in a row. I love, love, loved this quippy, fast-paced historical novel covering two time periods - the 1960s and just prior WWI. It starts with a suitcase that shows up at the 1960s apartment of fun, sassy, hilarious protagonist Vivian. Vivian Schuyler is definitely one of my favorite protagonists ever. Anyway, the suitcase was left somewhere in 1914 and the German government was finally returning it. I actually saw the author speak at my local boo ...more
Judy
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book started out great. Vivian is a wealthy young New Yorker who decides to stricknout on her own and work at a magazine rather than following the usual path of society women. She is smart, sassy, and the tone of the writing reminded me of "Bridget Jones Diary." When Vivian receives a suitcase belonging to an Aunt she didn't know he had, she becomes involved in a search to find out if her Aunt Violet killed her husband. Vivian also becomes involved with a handsome doctor, Paul. Their romance ...more
Linda
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vivian Schuyler is living in New York when she receives a mysterious package in the mail, a suitcase belonging to her Aunt Violet. Hopefully this suitcase holds the key to her Aunts disappearance many years ago. While at the post office she meets Dr. Paul, a tall, blue eyed blond, an interesting relationship develops between them. The story is told in two voices, Vivian and Violet and switches between the 1960's and 1800's. Vivian is a sassy, witty young woman! The plot is great with well develo ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Target club edition 1 18 Oct 15, 2016 11:54AM  
Around the Year i...: The Secret Life of Violet Grant, by Beatriz Williams 2 31 Jun 24, 2016 05:04AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Target Club pick edition 1 16 Dec 29, 2015 08:41PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Mar 09, 2015 12:48PM  

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