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A Memory of Violets

A Novel of London's Flower Sellers

About the Book

The author of the USA Today and New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home has once again created an unforgettable historical novel. Step into the world of Victorian London, where the wealth and poverty exist side by side. This is the story of two long-lost sisters, whose lives take different paths, and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences.

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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“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

“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

“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

“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.” —RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)

“Historical details and the unique perspective of penniless, physically challenged young girls could make Gaynor’s second historical novel 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

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062316899
  • ISBN 10: 0062316893
  • Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • On Sale: 02/03/2015
  • Pages: 432
  • List Price: 18.50 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Coming of Age
  • BISAC3: FICTION / Family Life

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor

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