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Imagining Violet

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4.60  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  14 reviews
On her own in Germany, 16 year old Violet Courtenaye prepares to audition at the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory. If she succeeds, she will be one step closer to her dream of becoming a concert violinist. But it's 1891, and women violinists rarely perform in public. But Violet is one determined young lady who chafes at convention while reveling in the new found freedom of ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published November 9th 2018 by First Choice Books, Victoria, BC Canada
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4.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  15 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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pauline
This was amazing and fantastic and I really enjoyed it! More at 8!

When Violet is 16, she travels to Leipzig to study music there. She will spend the next four years there and return home eventually. But even then, she still corresponds with the friends she met in Leipzig.

This is a work of historical fiction which draws a lot of inspiration from actual events. We follow Violet on her adventures in Leipzig, her return to England and end the book with Violet getting married. Her story is told throu
...more
Stacy
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Imagining Violet was a good read for a change of pace. The book begins and Violet is just 16 in the late 1800's traveling to Leipzig, Germany to continue her musical education in the violin at the Conservatory. The entire novel, written in the form of letters to her parents, friends and later her fiance, chronicles her life. Violet shares her frustrations not only with tutors, peers, and life in a foreign country, but also with social conventions at the time such as various limitations put on wo ...more
B.B. James
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel, set in the late nineteenth century, which takes the reader on a journey via a series of letters written by Violet, a talented 16-year-old music student, born in Ireland and raised in Edinburgh, who travels to Germany to further her studies with the support of her family back in Scotland.

This interesting story-telling technique is very effective in personalising Violet’s progress and I was soon drawn in to her life in Leipzig. Her character leaps off the page and I felt as t
...more
Cathleen Townsend
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Imagining Violet is an epistolary tale, which is something I have a cordial dislike for. Telling a story through a series of letters is very different from telling it as a straight narrative. It has a much different rhythm. People include things in letters, everyday details that wouldn’t make it into a typical three-act tale. I seem to have worn a three-act groove into my soul at an early age, so that’s a disadvantage for this book with me as a reader.

However, as an epistolary tale it was except
...more
Mary Elizabeth Hughes
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
A Review from Entrada Publishing January 2019

Imagining Violet is a fascinating look into a young woman’s life in the 19th century as she learns about herself and the world around her. The reader joins Violet as she takes the plunge into the new and exciting world of studying music in Europe. Mary E. Hughes takes an interesting approach when showcasing the life of Violet, by using personal letters to family and friends. With the element of historical truth to the narrative, the reader truly feel
...more
Lee Richie
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elegantly written, Imagining Violet is a well crafted novel. We join Violet on her adventures away from home, and through her letters, get a sense of being right there with her on her travels. Set in the 1800s, the detail in Violet's letters brings us into the lives of Mary's characters and we get to know each one. It's a fascinating peek into nineteenth century Europe.
Brooke Bent
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautifully written and clever way of documenting family history through an easy-read fiction story. The author imagines what her grandmother’s life was like and includes pictures that I assume are old family photos throughout the book. The entire book is compiled of letters that Violet writes to her family and friends. When I first started reading, I wondered if the letters would be tedious after awhile but they are so well-written that they capture your interest through the entire book. ...more
Entrada Book Review
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Imagining Violet is a fascinating look into a young woman’s life in the 19th century as she learns about herself and the world around her. The reader joins Violet as she takes the plunge into the new and exciting world of studying in Europe. Mary E. Hughes takes an interesting approach when showcasing the life of Violet, by using personal letters to family and friends. With the element of historical truth to the narrative, the reader truly feels like they have travelled back in time and are expe ...more
Ian Porter
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Did they even have “teenagers” back in the 1880s? Whatever, imagining Violet is an intriguing, engaging enterprise: so proper, so curious, so spirited. And subtly and inevitably a love story.
Fran
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book- very enjoyable . With lots of interesting anecdotes. The tone is lovely- you really do get to know Violet.
Can't wait to read the next installments!
Gareth Griffith
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Imagining Violet Mary E Hughes has set herself a difficult task. This is an historical novel which tells its tale in letter or epistolary form and from the standpoint of a single correspondent – young Violet Courtenaye, the author’s grandmother, no less. In a format of this kind it would be hard enough to create the tension and conflict required to sustain interest in the narrative using a range of contrasting voices, whereas here we are restricted to a single perspective. What is more, Hughe ...more
Margaret Standafer
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Imagining Violet had a mighty task in front of it as I was certain I wasn’t going to enjoy an epistolary novel. Those I’ve read in the past have left me frustrated, yearning for some real interaction between the characters, and wishing the novel would break form and give me some. I was both surprised and pleased to find that I loved Imagining Violet.

The storyline drew me in…set in the late 1800s, sixteen-year-old Violet leaves her home and her family to move to Germany where she will study at a
...more
G.J. Griffiths
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was not the kind of book that I like to read. A succession of letters without some real interaction between characters seems unexciting and lacking in intrigue. But “Imagining Violet” was both surprising and full of incident with a main character who was engaging and beautifully written; a mark of the talented author. Violet’s charming approach to life, together with her undoubted ambition to become a concert violinist, in an age of Victorian expected “proper behaviour” led to this reader r ...more
S. Daisy
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-books
This is an epistolary historical fiction novel, meaning a novel written as a series of letters from one person to another, about a blooming young musician and artist named Violet Courtenaye during the years 1891-1898. While not quite the "New Woman" the turn of the century brought with it, Violet embodies the gentle medium between the obedient, traditional woman of the past and the emancipated "New Woman" of the future. The story takes place in diverse settings, as Violet traveled quite a bit, b ...more
Keegan Campbell
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2019
Lauracuddie
rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2019
Jacquelne Chapman
marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2019
J.M.Wadden
marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2019
Elissa Matthews
marked it as to-read
May 27, 2019
Altheta Waverly
marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2019
Robbie Cheadle
is currently reading it
Jun 18, 2019
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Review Group: Entrada Publishing 6 31 Dec 31, 2018 11:26AM