A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.
Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.
People say "Don't judge a book by it's cover" - well I disagree! I loved the cover of this book when I very first saw it and Hazel Gaynor very kindly sent me a copy for a review.
Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the whole book is just beautiful. The text is like no other book I have read, it is set out spaciously with the title of the book on each page and pictures of flowers at the beginning of each chapter. It is definitely a keeper for my bookshelf!
The book is about a young woman called Tilly Harper who heads to London to become an Assistant Housekeeper in a home for girls who have been orphaned or disabled. They make paper flowers as a way of making money to earn their keep, but the homes are sponsored by a Mr Shaw and his family, who take pity on the girls who have had hard lives in poverty stricken London.
Tilly stumbles across a diary written by a girl called Florrie. She becomes so engrossed in the heartbreaking things Florrie writes in the diary about losing her sister Rosie, that she sets out on a quest to find out what happened to the girls.
The author does an amazing job of bringing the story of Tilly, Florie and Rosie together. The book is written in such an exquisite way as the author tells of how the girls are connected, but things don't always turn out the way you want!
I loved this book and cannot wait to read another by this author, in fact I have already bought the next one! If you read one book this year, make it this one!
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About the Author
Hazel Gaynor's 2014 debut novel THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME (William Morrow/Harper Collins) was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and winner of the 2015 RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award. Her second novel A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was selected by WHSmith Travel as a 'Fresh Talent' title and was also a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.
Hazel is one of nine contributing authors to the anthology FALL OF POPPIES - Stories of Love and the Great War, which will be published on 1st March, 2016.