Cover Image: Violets

Violets

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Member Reviews

A haunting read from the first moments the first scene Violet lying in a hospital bed having just miscarried.The haunting details of the moments as she bleeds in her home as she loses her child.As the story unfold as we follow Violet at different times as the timelines of the Violets seamlessly blend I was more and more drawn in by this lyrically written gem of a novel highly recommend.#netgalley #granata
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This book is the most gorgeous gem of a book I adored it 
The author has a unique prose style lyrical and poetically beautiful it slips between poem song and realism effortlessly 
The lives of the various violets are intertwined so closely that you think you are in one timeline and in the next sentence discover you are wrong 
The storylines are clear well described and totally believable as is the character of Violet however it is shaped by her life experience 
The settings each so perfectly defined set the scenes so well I can almost feel Naples with its heat smell and noises and it is so different from cold dampWales .The characters can not help but be changed and defined by these places 
I found the book joyously optimistic even in the most heartbreaking episodes there is hope for the future .I cried and laughed with Violet and know this book will stay with me for a long long time to come
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Violets by Alex Hyde is a fascinating combination of poetry and prose. The story follows two women called Violet during the Second World War; just as one Violet wakes up in hospital to learn that she has lost the twins she was carrying and will never be able to conceive again, another Violet discovers that she is pregnant after a brief romance with a soldier. Hyde allows us to see how society at that time limited and (often hypocritically) judged women: motherhood was a desirable state but unmarried motherhood was most certainly not. Many of the women in this novel, especially those from poorer families, attempt to escape their pre-defined roles by joining the auxiliary services or moving abroad. Although the war is clearly a key feature of the novel, the minutiae of these women’s lives is clearly the primary focus and men, even the husbands and lovers of the women, play a very secondary role.

Hyde’s writing is beautiful and evocative. After losing her twins, Violet returns home to see the room that she and her husband had decorated for the babies. Hyde captures how this room becomes the focus of her grief: ‘And in her mind, she had filled it up, that room. She had imagined it full of life. Now she couldn’t even go in...Into the pale, low shafts of light that cut across’. Hyde also weaves poetry into the story, with mixed results. In some place the poetry accentuates her writing wonderfully but in a few places, the poetry intrudes on the moment and actually dampens the emotional impact.

This isn’t an easy read but if you’re a fan of historical fiction that focuses on the lives of women, this is certainly a unique and ambitious novel. Thanks to Netgalley and Granta Publications for allowing me to read and review this digital ARC.
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*Many thanks to Alex Hyde, Granta Books, and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review.*
A rather ambitious poetic novel which was a difficult read for me, also due to the writing style. I often felt confused and distracted. I may not be the target reader for this particular novel.
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Alex Hyde manages to hone in on the meticulous details of life while also presenting a vivid whole picture. 
While Violet discovers an unexpected pregnancy and embarks on a journey into the dregs of the Second World War, another Violet is unable to conceive after a miscarriage. The shifting perspective between the two Violets is seamless and easy to follow. The author entwines their lives incredibly well before they even come close to each other. Her voice is clear, incredibly engaging, and full. The merging of poetry with prose was welcome, but at times it felt like it came in the way of the story.
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