Domestic Violets [Book Review]

Domestic VioletsTitle: Domestic Violets
Author: Matthew Norman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 0062065114
Pages: 352
Year: 2011
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5


Tom Violet has Office Space-esque feelings toward his increasingly pointless-seeming job. His wife is distant. His dad has just been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, overshadowing Tom’s newly-finished (and very secret) manuscript. Oh, and Tom has a pretty significant crush on a coworker. Just as Tom’s life threatens to unravel completely, he decides to take action.

My Thoughts:

I am not going to be able to adequately explain why I loved this book (in part because I once again waited too long to write this). It was funny, insightful, and moving. I enjoyed spending time in Tom Violet’s life, even if he didn’t.

As Tom’s life is not living up to his expectations, he retains his sense of humor. And does so without too much cynicism (just enough really). He remains likeable and you never stop cheering for him. Even as you watch him head down potentially life-damaging roads.

And the cast of characters around him are wonderfully nuanced and developed, from his award-winning-yet-flawed father to the smart and sexy young coworker to his increasingly-unhappy wife. And they develop. All of them. The characters move forward with the plot.

Norman is clearly a gifted writer. I think this is a book that will appeal to everyone, men and women, and I hope you all check out his debut.

Buy It Now: Amazon; Powell’s; IndieBound; Book Depository

9 thoughts on “Domestic Violets [Book Review]

  1. Jenny August 8, 2011 / 7:45 am

    I’ve heard lots of great things about this! I’m definitely going to check it out.


  2. Jen - Devourer of Books August 8, 2011 / 10:05 am

    It is really remarkable just how much all of the different characters develop, you’re right.


  3. zibilee August 8, 2011 / 11:42 am

    I am reading this right now and loving it! I love Tom’s voice and his cynicism that borders on pragmatism. I can’t wait to get back to it later today. Great review! I am glad you loved it. It bodes well for me that you did!


  4. Ti August 8, 2011 / 2:15 pm

    I just finished this one last night. I have to write the review though. I must do it while it’s fresh in my mind. Norman’s writing was very enjoyable.


  5. Sandy August 8, 2011 / 3:51 pm

    This sounds an awful lot like The Financial Lives of Poets, which was so much fun. This book is everywhere all the sudden (did I miss the tour???). I’m going to see if it exists in audio format…


    • Michelle August 8, 2011 / 4:15 pm

      I just got an email about the audiobook today from HarperAudio. Hope you manage to get it. I’ll be curious about the audio.


  6. Julie August 8, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    I just wrote on Jen’s blog that I’m intrigued by this. I love books that cam make me laugh out loud.


  7. Cassandra August 14, 2011 / 12:15 pm

    I’ve got a copy on my shelf that I got signed at BEA, and I swear (to myself) that I will get it read before classes start again on the 29th! I’m so far behind. Every review of this one makes me want to stop and ready it immediately!


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