The Secret Life of Violet Grant
by Beatriz Williams
published by Putnam
I received this book from the publisher through Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.
This is a PERFECT summer read. It is the story of the beautiful and spirited Vivian Schulyer, who receives a mysterious suitcase. She discovers it belonged to an aunt that has never been mentioned before. Vivian works to uncover the mystery of Violet Grant and is amazed at what she uncovers. We learn the story of Violet, an aspiring scientist who marries her much older professor right before the outbreak of WWI. I loved the writing and the way the story unfolded. I don’t want to give away too much, but I definitely recommend you get this book as soon as you can. It looks liked the 4th might be a bit of a washout hear on the East Coast- a perfect time to curl up with this great book! If you must, you can watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (shudder), but otherwise, enjoy some great writing!
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 détente. 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.