#Bookreview – Imagine Violet Blooming by Mary E. Hughes

Today, I am review the third and final book in The Violet Trilogy by Mary E. Hughes.

Mary has shared the following words about why she wrote this trilogy about her paternal grandmother:

“In 1891, at the age of 16, my paternal grandmother, Violet Courtenaye, went to Germany to study violin. An intrepid young woman, I thought, and decided it would be an interesting challenge to imagine her life in Leipzig. She had left some notes about that period on the inside cover of her Bible, so I had a few facts to start with.

I have had a wonderful time over the past eight years doing the research and writing the letters. On one trip to the UK, I found Violet’s actual home in Balham. In 2016 I visited the Leipzig Conservatory, met with the archivist and explored the old city, imagining Violet walking those streets. In 2013, as I was writing about her time at the Conservatory, I realized I had to know more, so as a 70th birthday present to myself, I began violin lessons. A year later I was privileged to acquire Violet’s actual violin from a cousin, and I have been playing it ever since.”

What Goodreads says

Imagine Violet Blooming is the final volume of The Violet Trilogy.

It’s 1906, and Violet is now in her thirties. In letters to family and friends, she writes of the challenges presented by her busy household and five children, the grief of losing loved ones and the pleasures of summer in ever-changing Muskoka. And she is blooming in her role as the wife of Frank Welsman, the celebrated conductor of the newly established Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Imagine Violet Blooming paints a vivid picture of the musical life of Toronto but there is also a generous helping of social history in this tale of middle-class life.

My review

This is the third, and final, book in the Imagine Violet series and equally as enjoyable as the previous two.

Violet and Frank’s lives continue with Frank growing and expanding the orchestra in Toronto under the guidance of Mr Cox. As the conductor of the orchestra and an “in demand” music tutor, he is always busy and rarely at home. Violet also continues in her traditional role as the mother of five lively children and the wife of a well-known conductor. The family have their annual holiday in Muskoka and their cottage on the island is improved with a boat house and a new boat. The descriptions of the encroachment of civilization on this rural and peaceful place are interesting and quite poignant.

Violet grows as a person and experiences the death of her father. Dealing with grief is difficult and she must also keep her mother and sister’s spirits buoyed up, which she does quite successfully. Learning to manage her household staff continues to be a challenge for Violet, but she becomes better and identifying what she needs and a domestic helper who will suit her family as the series progresses. The family moves into a lovely new home which is big enough for their growing family and the older boys, particularly Teddy, excel at school and are great helpers at home.

The series has an unexpected ending, but it is appropriate and well handled; a good finish to a relaxed and peaceful read. These books make me think of taking a boat ride on a calm lake on a warm summer’s day. Each book is a slow-moving and pleasant meander through the life of Violet and each book leads on successfully from the next.

I am rather sad that the series is finished with this book and their will be no more escapades about Violet.

Purchase Imagine Violet Blooming by Mary E. Hughes

Directly form Mary E. Hughes here: http://imaginingviolet.blogspot.com/2020/10/imagine-violet-blooming-now-for-sale-20.html

20 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Imagine Violet Blooming by Mary E. Hughes

  1. Great review, Robbie. I like the way you describe the books as “taking a boat ride on a calm lake on a warm summer’s day.”

    And how wonderful that Mary took up violin lessons at 70! It’s fantastic she has her grandmother’s violin,

    Liked by 2 people

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