Jan 8, 2012

[TSS] Review: Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman (Kindle Version)

Today I'm celebrating the 4th anniversary of my book blog and I am thrilled to be posting a review of such a fantastic book on this day! I hope you enjoy my review and that you run out and read it immediately! Thanks so much for your continued support of my crazy addiction to books!  Happy Sunday! ~Lisa

DOMESTIC VIOLETS by Matthew Norman
The Book:

Tom Violet always wanted to be a writer. He's spent the last five years writing his first manuscript and only one person has read it. Katie, a 23-year old co-worker who he has a mad crush on read it - and loved it. Tom, being 35 and married, feels guilty and out of his league when he thinks about his inappropriate feelings for this hot junior copywriter that is his direct subordinate.

His growing feelings for Katie isn't the only problem Tom has: He and his wife, Anna, have grown distant in the last several months, which is having a direct negative effect on his sexual performance, or lack thereof. He also hates his job as a copywriter for a very large managerial support corporation, whatever that is. He dreams of selling his first book and becoming a full-time writer. This brings us to the other issue in Tom's life.  He's living in the shadow of his father who is a very famous and successful writer, who has just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

With all these things working against him, Tom Violet goes through his days like a man on the way to the death chamber. Soon, things begin to spiral out of control and he is faced with the reality of his life. An unfortunate event at work causes Tom to take the bull by the horns and do something drastic, even though there will be definite consequences. But he believes he is at the point, both in his business and person life, where he must sink or swim. And as he rides this wave, he discovers that, as far as his family is concerned, things aren't always as they seem.

My Thoughts:

I love Tom Violet. I love his personality, his love of family and his ability to use sarcasm to his advantage, mainly towards people he doesn't care for. Not since Jess Riley's DRIVING SIDEWAYS have I enjoyed such snarkiness. Granted, he uses the snarkiness to make up for his lack of confidence, but he does it in a way that makes you root for him. Well, it was that way for me, anyway. But most of all, this book is funny. Matthew Norman had me laughing out loud - a lot. It was the perfect mix of humor and really good family story.

I enjoyed all of the characters in this book, even the less than significant ones because they were easy to believe and they added to the complexity of Tom's character. Katie was a great character and was easy to identify with. Tom's father, Curtis, although he seemed so carefree and full of himself, had redeeming qualities and by the end, I really liked him.

This story, for me, was so well developed and as I read each page, I was drawn in more and more. I especially loved the epilogue. The story itself kept my attention and entertained me, but the epilogue was very moving and insightful and brought the whole book together. I love books about books, and books about people who love books, so this one was right at the top of the list for me.

I don't want to say too much more about it, only that if you haven't read this one yet, you really should change that - right now! Matthew Norman's debut effort was a huge success in my opinion and I will always be curious to see what he comes up with next.  

DOMESTIC VIOLETS by Matthew Norman
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Published: August 9, 2011
Pages: 352
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5


  1. I loved this book and passed my copy on to my mom. I was a little wary - I wasn't sure how it would strike an 85 year old woman. She loved it too!

    Happy blogiversary!

  2. Congrats to you!

    I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would.

  3. I read it a few months ago. A fun read.
    Happy 4th anniversary, Lisa!!!

  4. This was one of my favorite reads of 2011! I'm so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

  5. Happy blogiversary!! I'm still not sure about reading this book, but seeing you rate it so highly might make me change my mind.

  6. 4 years!! Yahoo!! I have a copy of this one and it sounds like one I will be sure to enjoy!

  7. Happy 4 years! This book is on my wish list. I love a snarky character :)

  8. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for visiting Fiction Books and leaving your valued comments. It is always great to 'meet' new people and I have already connected to the blog and followed you on twitter, so I shall be stopping by often.

    I thought that I was reading something fairly unique in 'The Baggage Handler', being a book that verged almost on the 'chick-lit' scale, but written from the male perspective.

    'Domestic Violets' however, is another great contender in this genre and I see that it has already been nominated for an award. This is definitely one that I may read as a direct comparison to how the genre is dealt with by a US author, as oppose the 'The Baggage Handler' whose author is British.

    I find that generally there is quite a difference in writing styles between UK and US authors.

    Great review and hope to catch up with you again soon.



Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I look forward to hearing from you again soon!