Solve a Heartbreaking Mystery in “A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers”
Hazel Gaynor’s historical fiction novel A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers revolves around a young woman named Tilly who becomes the assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. While there, she discovers the journal of a girl named Florrie, who died from a broken heart after being separated from her sister Rosie. Touched by the girl’s story, Tilly embarks on a journey to figure out what happened to Rosie. Gaynor makes sure to alternate the chapters from Tilly and Florrie’s perspective, so that readers can share in the latter’s pain and misfortune once she’s separated from her sister. It also allows you to become engrossed in Florrie’s story alongside the main character as well.
However, the important aspect of this book is the love between sisters. The connection between Florrie and Rosie is so strong it inspires a young woman to solve a decades-old mystery that transcends even death itself. There’s also the theme of kindness, especially in the form of Mr. Shaw, who rejects the idea that children who have disabilities or who were orphaned can’t be productive members of society and instead, starts an orphanage where he teaches them new skills.
A Memory of Violets is a beautifully written and incredibly poignant novel that explores the depth of human kindness as well as the strong bonds of familial love.