Passion, redemption, and a battered old suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times best-selling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale of lost love and female ambition that crosses generations.
Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family's past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.
Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant's magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe's fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband's perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel's shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.
As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt's past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet's story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad - and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future - and the love - she wants most.
©2014 Beatriz Williams (P)2014 Penguin Audio
Yes. I loved the characters.
Vivian - very witty but also kind and sensitive
Delivery of wit as well emotion. Her delivery of Mr. Grant really painted his true character.
I LOVED the addition of Einstein and the history of pre-WWI developments. Also, I might need to re-listen because I missed what Violet spoke to Jane about. How did that play out? My stars are based on the fact that it completely captured me.
Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...
This book was an interesting enough read, but it was lacking in depth or continuity. It has the feeling of a novel in installments. Okay to pass the time,
This is strictly for those who think a Harlequen romance is good reading. I couldn't get past the overly cocky, "I'm too cool-for-school" persona of Vivien. It was SO distasteful that the entire book was ruined for me.
I loved her previous book "A Hundred Summers", so this was a major dissappointment.
Re-write the character of Vivien !
I was expecting literary historical fiction
Although billed as historical fiction it's chick lit. I'm not the right reader for this book and it was painful to read.
Her narration was like fingernails on a chalkboard - if possible she made Vivian even more annoying.
Vivian! She was supposed to be cute and charming but I found her to be vapid and silly.
Don't believe the publisher's description of a "substantive beach read steeped in history and familial intrigue". This is chick lit, pure and simple. Nothing against chick lit but this is chick lit of the eye-rolling variety with two of literature's most annoying protagonists ever and a plot that was silly and improbable. If it wasn't a book club book I wouldn't have read past the first chapter.
Love the narrator. That's why I bought the audiobook. The writing was a bit gratuitous for me...intertwining the character with Einstein? Really?
This book kept me interested from the first chapter to the last. It had wonderful contrasts and strong characters. The performance was very good and helped to guide you through the complexities of the story.
I like historical, southern books - southern accents, antiques - The Ole' West, Ghost Towns, Victorian Era, Southern Humor!!
Loved it! I also enjoy listening to Kathleen McInerney!! Held my interest, totally. This was around 1914 and I love history. The story line kept me wanting for more! Violet's life was indeed secret until her niece............. : )
A must listen!
I so wanted to like this book, the description sounded like something I would really like but this one fell short for me. I won this book from librarything early reviewers but had a hard time getting into it so got the audio hoping it would be better but for over half of the book all I wanted was for it to be over.
I love dual storylines in historical fiction and that was what I was expecting but this book is Romance, lots of sex (very descriptive) and once you get through that there is a little bit of a historical fiction storyline but not enough to save this one, IMHO. Also the characters are all pretty much unlikable and the whole stupid romance in the 1964 storyline is ridicules they fell in love in 5 minutes?? Give me a break! This book may have been better served if it just told Violet’s storyline because Vivian was annoying and her whole storyline revolved around this convoluted romance with someone she met and supposedly fell in love with in an afternoon.
Violet’s storyline started out strong then dwindled into idiocy, with many unbelievable things happening and I wanted more of the actual story of how …( no spoilers) than just the whole romance crap.
And the ending was all tied up in a little bow that made me throw-up a little in mouth, it was so saccharine.
Kathleen McInerney’s narration was very well done but couldn’t save me from wanting this book to end!
I may be in the minority here, this book has gotten a lot of buzz but, don’t be fooled by the historical fiction moniker this is straight up romance and not a good one!
2 Stars (barely)
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