21/40: Domestic Violets (by Michael Norman)


Domestic Violets

by Matthew Norman

Published by HarperCollins Publishers on 08/09/2011

General Fiction

WHO: Tom Violet, an aspiring writer living in the shadow of his Pulitzer Prize- winning novelist-father…

WHAT: is stuck in a dead-end job and a deteriorating marriage…

WHERE: while doing time at the office and returning home to the upscale neighborhood of Georgetown (Washington, DC.) 

WHEN: In the weeks between the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize winners and the acceptance ceremony, Tom Violet’s father moves in with his son, adding to Tom’s struggle to remain afloat in a sea of implicit and explicit expectations. 

WHY: Tom walks a fine line between self-destruction and survival as he determines who he is…

HOW: through his self-deprecating wit and boldness, and by negotiating the relationships of those most important in his life.

+ This is a light read with an original and interesting, plot twist. Matthew Norman keeps a tight rein on the satire, keeping the tone suburban and never succumbing to the temptations of becoming too dark, scathing or maudlin.  

 The resolution of the story is somewhat awkwardly executed and vaguely unsatisfying. I’m not really sure I buy it as the story itself doesn’t sell it: There is a lack of narrative to support the transition from the selfish to the noble.

The same sensibility that kept the overall timbre of the novel light also denied the story the gravitas which would have hooked the reader to feeling Tom’s angst as opposed to watching it.

OTHER: I purchased and dnloaded a digital eBook copy of Domestic Violets (by Michael Norman) during an eBook sale that HarperCollins was running in May, 2012. For some reason, I thought this was a lit-fic novel and had been putting it off until I was in the right frame of mind; but when I started reading it, I realized that the novel was more comedic in tone. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.

I have challenged myself to read forty books this summer. Many books will be backlist titles as I’m trying to clear the stacks; but I have no doubt that new releases will make their way in too! 😉


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