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Haunting Violet


Haunting Violet

In the 19th century, a poor, unwed woman with a baby doesn't have many opportunities, so she does what she must to survive.

Of course, Violet Willoughby's mother doesn't want to just survive; she wants to thrive with the rest of rich society, and does so by taking advantage of their grief. After years of practice, she puts on a convincing show of communicating with the dead, and 16-year-old Violet detests having to take part. Violet doesn't mind so much the curious set of customers looking for entertainment, but it breaks her heart to outright lie to the mourners looking for some sign from their lost loved ones. However, the handsome and wealthy Mr. Xavier Trethewey appears very interested in her beauty. A marriage to him would provide a very comfortable way out from under her mother's rule. It's too bad that Violet doesn't love him.

Instead, Violet is attracted to her mother's servant, Colin. They have grown up together, both taking part in the scam. In the past, they felt like siblings, teasing each other and hiding insects in the other's bed. But lately, Violet has begun noticing his strength, his kindness, and his very blue eyes. More importantly, Colin absolutely believes and supports Violet when her challenging new talent pops up.

While her mother is completely bogus in her communing with the dead, Violet suddenly has a true ability to do so. She hears their voices and sees their ghostly images. One spirit named Rowena is particularly insistent; Violet feels her pain, suffers her experiences, and learns that Rowena was brutally murdered. Violet struggles with her new talents to uncover Rowena's killer before he or she can strike again.

I'd like to thank Alyxandra Harvey for the fabulous read. I knew I would like Violet right away when, in the Prologue, she decides at age nine that she wants to be either a female writer or "a goblin-fighting pirate queen." She is kindhearted, friendly and modest, but also a survivor who will do what she has to, whether it's reluctantly playing a part in her strict mother's deceptions or picking pockets to eat. Harvey uses vivid and unique descriptions that really bring the story to life and has a gift with alliteration, using this rhythmic tool in all the right places. She also has an obvious love of flora, which she weaves into the story, planting beautiful flowers throughout.

HAUNTING VIOLET is an intriguing mystery, a spooky ghost story, and a sweet romance all wrapped up in one excellent historical adventure.


Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on October 18, 2011

Haunting Violet
by Alyxandra Harvey

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2011
  • Genres: Paranormal
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
  • ISBN-10: 1408811316
  • ISBN-13: 9781408811313