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A Memory of Violets Audiobook

A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the USA Today best-seller The Girl Who Came Home comes an unforgettable historical novel that tells the story of two long-lost sisters - orphaned flower sellers - and a young woman who is 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 each other's presence. 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 one of Mr. Shaw's Training Homes for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the homes have cared for London's orphaned and crippled flower girls, getting them off the streets. For Tilly, the appointment is a fresh start, a chance to leave her troubled past behind.

Soon after she arrives at the home, Tilly finds 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 lost 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.

©2015 Hazel Gaynor (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    alison 04/06/2015
    alison 04/06/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful book"

    This was such a lovely book, beautiful yet sad. Hazel Gaynor's descriptions paint such vivid pictures of life in London during the 1800's, the hardship and the courage.
    There are a lot of coincidences, but that did not detract from my love of the story. Endearing characters charmed me and drew me in, I needed to know what became of them all.
    Nicola Barber narrated the story wonderfully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • M. Ryder
    13/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really Good!"

    The story is incredibly heart-warming. It shows the inseparable bond between two sisters and the search to find the truth. Buried secrets are eventually revealed. The narrator did a terrific job of bringing the characters to life. Up until listening to this audio, I was not at all aware of the Flower Girls in London during the late 1800's and early 1900's nor did I realize that Albert Shaw was responsible for saving so many orphans from being on the streets. Definitely purchase this!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Caroline D. Hayes
    Columbia, SC USA
    13/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As beautiful as the flowers it describes!"

    Undiescribably beautiful. What a story! Based a true facts. The narrative is excellently executed. I have always been a sucker for Victorian Era works, and even though the timing of this one is slightly passed that period, it still brings me joy. What a piece of literature!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Neysa T. Sensenig
    24/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The importance of relationships"

    I enjoyed the time lapse in the novel and the unravelling of the story. The narration was compelling as the characters came alive. The foreshadowing of the interwoven lives draws the listener in to the importance of relationships and how relationships shape who we are.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • alison
    22/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful story"

    This was such a lovely book, beautiful yet sad. Hazel Gaynor's descriptions paint such vivid pictures of life in London during the 1800's, the hardship and the courage.
    There are a lot of coincidences, but that did not detract from my love of the story. Endearing characters charmed me and drew me in, I needed to know what became of them all.
    Nicola Barber narrated the story wonderfully.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Jeanene
    9/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful portrait of two girls lives....."
    Any additional comments?

    Those of us who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling or any other significant other will relate to this beautiful story...I sat in the parking lot exit on the turnpike to listen to the final chapters...and yes...tears of understanding...one line struck deeply..."Grief is a funny thing...you need to remind yourself to breathe and tell your heart to beat". So very true...This book will take you on a journey of two young girls who have experienced great losses and great gains in the late 1800's and early 1900's...Nicola Barber did a great job with all the characters within the streets of London and country of Ireland...Ms. Barber brought the Flower Girls and others to life...I highly recommend this audiobook or book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A.
    Merritt Island, FL, United States
    30/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I highly recommend it"

    I tend to pick books like this despite the fact that the conditions of the children and their families just break my heart. So once I start to read similar stories, I say to myself, why are you reading this book as tears stream down my face. However, this one brought joy to my heart because there are people who try to do something about the plight of these very, very poor people. I believe this to be a little bit of fiction and a little bit of fact, small wonder any of them survived the filthy conditions they had to endure.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Ruth Bain
    Orange County, CA
    1/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely !"

    A sweet, sentimental story about love, not the romantic kind but the love between sisters, and of a father for his daughter. Be sure to have Kleenex or a hanky ready, I was choked up at about (5) minutes in. Full credit for the emotional impact of the story goes to narrator Nicola Barber. Her voices and accents were so convincing that I was able to look past some of the plot coincidences ( and there were many ). I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoyed " The Orphan Train". Different historical setting, but similar theme of children struggling to survive in brutal circumstances.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mary Smiroldo
    Rio Rancho, NM
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So so."

    Certainly not remarkable, but somewhat entertaining. The story started off quite good, then became more and more predictable. Would not recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cora Sue McCoy
    Deltona, FL, US
    18/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved everything about this book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Memory of Violets to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely! The narrator helps this book come alive!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Memory of Violets?

    When Rosie was lost in the market.


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    Brought the story to life. Read well and perfect accent for this period piece.


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful story. Kept my interest. Great team of author/narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • fletpa2@msn.com
    Modesto, CA
    8/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In my top ten"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a fantastic story and brought alive by the reader.. I loved how it tied in the characters to the story line, along with some history I never knew about. I wish this would be come a movie or series. really it was that good!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Memory of Violets?

    Without giving away the story line.. when Tilly meets Rosie again to unravel past events.


    Which character – as performed by Nicola Barber – was your favorite?

    Tilly, and Flora


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Tilly realizes her mother too, had worked there.


    Any additional comments?

    you wont be sorry, a great book, one you will think about even when the story ends.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Mrs Wilma Pretorius
    20/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing and predictable"

    This book is passable due only to good narration. The plot is simple and predictable. If you enjoy Mills&Boon romances, this one is for you. Too sentimental and 'nice' for my taste, but might appeal to some.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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