Domestic Violets: A Review
I've had a bit of a bad stretch with some books of late. I've given up on two non-fiction books I expected to love (In The Garden of Beasts and The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron). I read Echo Burning, the 5th in Lee Childs long Jack Reacher series and just uninteresting enough to make me wonder if or when I'll ever read the 6th book. (The 16th is due out next month.)
Tom Violet is disgruntled, with his job, his sex life and his dysfunctional family. If it's not a problem in the bedroom, it's with his co-workers and boss (Violet is a copywriter for MSW, a consulting organization that is never clearly defined, largely because no one seems to actually know what they do). Additionally, his father - who left when Tom was young - is Curtis Violet, a world famous author that even casual readers know and adore.How famous? He just won the Pulitzer Prize. Tom's mother has remarried, and her husband Gary suddenly shows up at Tom's house, with his mother nowhere to be found.
Oh, and Tom's has a crush on a 25-year old co-worker, one of the only people he's let see the novel he's spent the last five years writing.
Everyone is keeping secrets.
Though the beginning of the novel made me wonder if anything much was going to happen (answer: Yes!), I raced through Domestic Violets. The pace and tone evokes authors like Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perotta, both favorites of mine, so, you know - that's good. This is an intelligent, aware novel, with a bit of meta commentary about the writing process thrown in for good measure. (I'll also add one note - for awhile, I thought the title was cute but a bit forced - however, it ends up being relatively pitch perfect.)
I highly recommend this and look forward to Norman's next novel.