Samantha's Reviews > A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
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it was amazing

So when this book arrived for review, my mum couldn't resist and she wanted to review it for me. Here is her review:

Such a lovely well written novel; as a Londoner and former florist who was a regular 4am visitor to old Covent Garden I could almost smell the flowers in this book. I remember the hustle and bustle of the early morning traders, cupping and blowing into my frozen fingers and feeling the warmth of tea or hot chocolate to keep out the cold, banging my frozen feet on the ground waiting while my father bartered with the sellers and then loading boxes of flowers onto our van ready to take back to our shop to sell. All these long forgotten memories came flooding back to me as I read about Flora and Rosie the little orphaned flower sellers. Good storytellers evoke memories and Hazel Gaynor definitely did this for me with A Memory of Violets.

Covent Garden has changed quite a bit now but when I was a child it must have been unchanged from the late 1800's and I could easily picture Flora and Rosie picking up fallen flowers and watercress to make into posies to sell to the gentry. Because I felt such a connection this was quite a special read for me. I loved how the whole story was bought together by Tilly Harpers' story and how she fitted into the novel to help find the missing little flower sellers' sister.

I don't want to retell the story or give away any spoilers to this beautiful heartwarming and often heart wrenching story so you'll have to trust me and read it yourself but I can say that you won't be disappointed. It is even more poignant when you remember that life really was like this for so many children at the turn of the century, never knowing if they would eat, having no where warm and safe to live, being terrified of the Work House and having to work as soon as they were able. I'm sure Flora's story was not uncommon and many young girls suffered the deprivation and hardship of poverty, many died young, lost their families and spent their lives searching for their siblings on the often cruel streets of London. This novel is so much more than a work of fiction and that is what for me makes this such a good piece of writing.

Tilly, Flora and Rosie will stay with me for a long time, I am so glad I read this book and so glad that I was not born in the late 1800's

I have to give this book 5 stars.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 21, 2015 – Shelved
March 21, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Deborah (new) - added it

Deborah What a lovely review.....I am reading A Memory of Violets now and am enjoying it so much. I loved hearing about some of your memories and how this story touched you. I am glad that you wrote this review.


Samantha Thanks so much for your comment


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