Sexual attraction. Violet knows what it is; she knows she’s feeling it now, that she’s felt it from the moment he prowled into the middle of her dark laboratory room ten days ago. – from The Secret Life of Violet Grant –
Vivian Schuyler is a sharp, sexy, New Yorker trying to climb the journalistic ladder of the famed Metropolitan magazine in the year 1964. She isn’t looking for a man, and even if she was, she longs to protect a heart that has been broken more than once. So when she goes to the post office in Greenwich Village to pick up a parcel she has no idea that her life is about to take a dramatic turn. The parcel is a battered suitcase which apparently belongs to a Violet Schuyler, a woman Vivian has never heard of; and the man who offers to carry it for her is a blond doctor who takes Vivian’s breath away.
Soon Vivian learns that Violet is a great aunt of hers, a scientist who married her professor (the squirrely and perverse Dr. Grant) and traveled to Berlin…where just before the beginning of WWI, she apparently murdered her husband and fled with a lover. No one has heard from her since. Vivian is captivated and determined to uncover the mystery behind Violet’s disappearance.
In a compelling narrative, Beatriz Williams moves effortlessly back and forth from 1964 New York to pre-war Berlin in the early part of the twentieth century. Vivian’s voice is filled with a sardonic wit which covers a more vulnerable young woman. Violet’s story is written in the third person and is filled with suspense and intrigue. Both woman charge across the pages of this new novel by one of my favorite authors in the Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction genres.
Williams introduces historical characters such as Einstein, as well as carefully developed fictional characters. She intertwines romance with history for a thrilling story about two women separated by time but connected by family, desire and fate.
I was really happy to see that Beatriz Williams was publishing her third novel this month (look for it in bookstores by May 27th) as I have loved her previous work: Overseas (read my review) and A Hundred Summers (read my review). Once again she wowed me with pitch perfect dialogue, a fast paced plot, engaging characters and plenty of heat in the romance department. Williams is fast becoming my go-to author for Women’s Fiction laced with historical detail.
This is a terrific book which I read in record time despite its over 400 pages. If you’re looking for an entertaining, well-written book…look no further! I loved this one.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review on my blog.