Sue Seligman'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

This is the second book by Hazel Gaynor that I have read. Based on true events, this novel is about the flower sellers who lived hand to mouth in the streets of London during the 1800s and 1900s. The author tells this riveting story through alternating points of view and time periods. We are introduced to eight year old Florrie Flynn and her blind sister, four year old Rosie, who spend hours on the streets selling flowers to wealthy passers by in order to bring home money to support their alcoholic father and mentally ill aunt. Their mother, the only source of love for the children, died, leaving them to this threadbare existence. One horrible day, Florrie and her sister are separated in the streets and despite help from the benefactor, Mr. Albert Shaw, Florrie is unable to find her little sister. Years later, Tillie Harper, who is running from her own demons, finds a job working for the same Mr. Shaw, and learns about the story of the separated sisters. She is inexplicably drawn to this sad situation and is compelled to try to sole the mystery of the two siblings.
The writing in this book is gorgeous. The descriptions of the London slums are gritty and real; the reader can visualize the crowds on the streets and smell the dirt and grime. In contrast the portrayal of the English countryside and the fragrant flowers appeal to all the senses. The characters come alive on the page. I didn’t read this book quickly; I savored every word and became emotional attached to each character. I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and women’s fiction.
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Reading Progress

November 9, 2017 – Started Reading
November 18, 2017 – Shelved
November 18, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Angela M (new) - added it

Angela M Sue, thanks for the recommendation! It’s been on my list for a while so thanks for the nudge to get to it . Great review!


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin thank you for the recommendation, Sue!!


message 3: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Seligman You should also read The Cottingley Secret by this author, another great book. I reviewed it awhile ago. Next up is her novel about the Titanic!


Lynn Great review! Adding it to my TBR list.


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