- Publisher: William Morrow
- Available in: Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook
- ISBN: 978-0062316899
- Published: 12 February 2015
NYT AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
WHSmith Fresh Talent Selection, Spring 2015
From the author of New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Girl Who Came Home comes an unforgettable historical novel that tells the story of two little sisters – orphaned flower sellers – and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences.
‘For Little Sister … I will never stop looking for you.’
1876. Among the filth and depravity of Covent Garden’s flower markets, orphaned Irish sisters Flora and Rosie Flynn sell posies of violets and watercress to survive. It is a pitiful existence, made bearable only by the presence of each other. When they become separated, the decision of a desperate woman sets their lives on very different paths.
1912. Twenty-one-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 orphaned and crippled flower girls, taking them off the streets. For Tilly, the appointment is a fresh start; a chance to leave her troubled past behind.
Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a notebook belonging to Flora Flynn. Hidden between the pages she finds dried flowers and a heartbreaking tale of loss and separation as Flora’s entries reveal how she never stopped looking for her sister. 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.
Read the story behind A Memory of Violets here.
Praise for A Memory of Violets
“Gaynor’s talent for evoking a time and place, as well as her ability to write a beautifully heart-wrenching story with realistic characters, enables her to touch readers. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot and jumping of timelines holds readers’ attention to the satisfying climax.” — Romantic Times Book Review
“Hazel Gaynor’s tale of divided sisters conjures a bygone era with a poignancy so exquisite one can almost smell the violets.” – Kate Beaufoy, author of Liberty Silk and Another Heartbeat In The House.
“With impeccable historical precision, Gaynor introduces us to the appalling squalor of Victorian and Edwardian London, living conditions which enraged the likes of Dickens and Shaw … richly crafted with mystery and suspense …. Fans of the genre will be enthralled.” — Sunday Independent
“Gaynor once again brings history to life. With intriguing characters and a deeply absorbing story, her latest is a fascinating examination of one city’s rich history and the often forgotten people who lived in it.” — Booklist
“Gaynor has written a masterpiece of a story, one that will linger long in the memory of readers.” — The Sun News
“Given the awards she has already received, we are sure to hear much more from Hazel Gaynor-and that is a good thing.” — New York Journal of Books
“An inspirational tale…” — Huffington Post/Impact
“Historical details and the unique perspective of penniless, physically challenged young girls could make Gaynor’s second historical novel (after The Girl Who Came Home) a good book club choice. A tidy ending and sweet romance will satisfy readers hoping to exhale a long, contented sigh as they finish the last page.” — Library Journal
“… a hopeful and inspiring tale that resonates with the reader long after the last page is turned. A MEMORY OF VIOLETS is highly recommended!” — Fresh Fiction