By Hazel Gaynor
Reviewed by Stefanie Kamerman
Flora “Florrie” and Rosie Flynn are two Irish orphans struggling to stay alive on the streets as flower sellers in Victorian London, 1876. Florrie made a promise at her mother’s deathbed to care for little sister Rosie and when Rosie disappears, a desperate Florrie searches the slums of London for Rosie and vows to find her even if it takes the rest of her life.
Forward to 1912 when Tilly Harper makes her way to London from the Lake District for a fresh start as an assistant housemother at one of Mr. Shaw’s Training Homes for Flower Girls. Mr. Shaw’s homes provide shelter for London’s injured women by providing work as silk flower makers. Tilly, haunted by the past, looks forward to starting a new beginning. With no looking back, Tilly leaves her disabled sister and mother behind and prays she never has to return home.
Upon arriving and settling into her new surroundings, Tilly discovers a wooden box with a journal inside written by Florrie who worked at Mr. Shaw’s a time ago. Tilly begins to read the journal and becomes caught up in Florrie’s heart-wrenching story of life on the streets and search for Rosie. During her employment, Tilly begins discovering some of the missing pieces Florrie hadn’t found while looking for Rosie. The past and present collide as Tilly discovers whom Florrie is and begins a quest to find her. When Tilly is unexpectedly called home, she returns to the place she didn’t think she would see again and finds redemption from her past as well as reconciliation with her sister Esther.
A Memory of Violets is a tale of two very different pairs of sisters during two very different times. Both of these stories make you question the past and the events that bring us to the present. Decisions carry consequences, but forgiveness teaches us how to move forward. Each character you meet within this story is unforgettable and the story offers hope for those who are searching for the lost as well. A Memory of Violets is a beautiful story and the bonds of sisterhood.
Mom and student during the day, aspiring writer by night, Stefanie Kamerman is a voracious reader and reviews books for various platforms such as The Christian Manifesto and Radiant Lit. Stefanie is currently an online student at Regent University located Virginia Beach, Virginia where she is completing her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Writing. Though a one-time science major with intentions of becoming a nurse, Stefanie’s passion of reading and literature inspired her to make a career change and one in which she hopes will inspire others. When she isn’t reading, or writing, Stefanie can be found taking care of her family, studying, crafting, cooking, or taking care of her 100-year-old home in Virginia while she dreams about going out to dinner. Stefanie resides with her husband, daughter, two guinea pigs, and a dog on a third of an acre. You can find Stefanie on her blog at www.theliteraryhousewife.com or on twitter @srkamerman.