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The Resource The secret life of Violet Grant, Beatriz Williams

The secret life of Violet Grant, Beatriz Williams

Label
The secret life of Violet Grant
Title
The secret life of Violet Grant
Statement of responsibility
Beatriz Williams
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Passion, redemption, and a battered old suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale of lost love and female ambition that crosses generations. Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family's past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history. Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant's magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe's fateful summer interrupts this delicate detente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband's perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel's shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own. As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt's past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet's story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future--and the love--she wants most"--
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Williams, author of the best-selling A Hundred Summers (2013), conjures up another substantive beach read steeped in history and familial intrigue. Separated by 50 years but joined together in spirit and ambition, Vivian Schuyler and Violet Schuyler Grant share equal parts of the narrative flow as the story leapfrogs back and forth between 1964 New York and 1914 Berlin. When Vivian accepts delivery of a musty parcel from the past, she is compelled to unlock the secrets that have shrouded the memory of her Great Aunt Violet. Though the blue-blooded Schuyler family has done its best to bury and ignore Violet’s disgraceful past—she was, after all, determined to pursue a career as a scientist!—the deeper Vivian digs, the more invested she becomes in Violet’s story. Rumor has it that Violet murdered her husband and mentor, Dr. Walter Grant, before mysteriously disappearing with her lover on the eve of WWI. As Vivian closes in on the past, she has a heart-wrenching problem of her own to resolve in the present. Readers will love wallowing in the twists and turns of this irresistibly luxurious tale. -- Flanagan, Margaret (Reviewed 04-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 16, p31)
  • This follow-up to One Hundred Summers is the story of two women whose dreams are challenged by society and familial expectations. Violet Schuyler is an intelligent young woman who is naÃóve to the ways of the world when she meets Dr. Walter Grant, the noted physical chemist, who champions Violet's scientific career, and her gratitude leads her to fall in love with him. But she soon finds herself trapped in an unhappy marriage. Then Violet's husband's former protégé, Lionel Richardson, arrives, leading her to a crisis point. In 1960s New York, Vivian Schuyler wants to write magazine articles instead of spending her days fetching coffee for her editor. When she receives a suitcase that once belonged to her scandalous Aunt Violet, rumored to have murdered her husband in 1914 and run off with her lover, Vivian is determined to uncover the truth. VERDICT Williams's latest is another absorbing page-turner filled with romance and secrets but with some flaws. While Violet's narrative will captivate readers with its intrigue and the protagonist's struggles, Vivian's story is less compelling and the plot strains believability toward the end. Fans of the earlier work will be delighted by the cameo appearance of Lily and other characters from that novel. [See Prepub Alert, 11/18/13.]— Christina Thurairatnam, Holmes Cty. Dist. P.L., Millersburg, OH --Christina Thurairatnam (Reviewed April 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 7, p81)
  • The niece of a scientist missing for 50 years receives a valise that could unlock the mystery of her aunt's 1914 disappearance in Williams' newest romance.It's 1964, and Bryn Mawr graduate Vivian Schuyler is working her way up from fact checker to writer at Metropolitan, the New York City magazine owned by her college friend Gogo's father. When her great-aunt Violet's suitcase mysteriously arrives at the post office, addressed to her, she decides to investigate her trailblazing ancestor's life; it doesn't hurt that she begins a romantic relationship with the handsome doctor who lugs the bag up to her fifth-floor apartment. But her family proves closemouthed about Aunt Violet, a progressive thinker who married her much-older Oxford professor and moved with him to Berlin. Even worse, Vivian finds out that the doctor has also been dating Gogo, and that relationship stalls. While Vivian sorts through her love-hate relationship with Dr. Paul, she explores the suitcase and finds troves of information: proof of a love affair between Violet and an Englishman; documents belonging to an American woman and her son; and a journal penned by Violet's husband detailing his sexual exploits. Convinced that the trail in the U.S. has run its course, Vivian continues her quest in London. As her search winds down and Vivian puts together the final pieces of information, she finally resolves the long-standing mystery and sets a course for her future. Williams competently advances the narratives of both women by alternating between Vivian's and Violet's stories. But although both are interesting protagonists, readers will find Vivian's wisecracking subterfuge annoying and question Violet's naà ̄ve, subservient approach to her marriage, especially since she's previously been presented as a strong, intelligent woman.Even readers interested in pure escapism will want to know why Vivian's family wasn't interested in discovering the complete truth about Violet's fate prior to Vivian's investigation.(Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2014)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10304593
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Williams, Beatriz
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3623.I55643
LC item number
S48 2014
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Nieces
  • Aunts
  • Family secrets
  • World War, 1914-1918
Label
The secret life of Violet Grant, Beatriz Williams
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1013443
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780399162176
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013043630
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780399162176
  • (OCoLC)861068905
Label
The secret life of Violet Grant, Beatriz Williams
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1013443
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780399162176
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2013043630
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780399162176
  • (OCoLC)861068905

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Manchaca Road BranchBorrow it
      5500 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX, 78745, US
      30.2166039 -97.79733689999999
    • Pleasant Hill BranchBorrow it
      211 E. William Cannon Blvd., Austin, TX, 78745, US
      30.1922461 -97.7771661
    • Spicewood Springs BranchBorrow it
      8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78759, US
      30.4337083 -97.7730809
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