Sunday, January 01, 2012

Book Review - Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

Mathew Norman
Domestic Violets
Format: e-book Edition (Kindle)
File Size: 652 KB
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: August 9, 2011


Tom Violet’s life train is headed for a disastrous and inevitable derailment and he isn’t even aware of it yet. His job is in jeopardy, his wife is unhappy and worse, and he’s a consummate crack-up who can’t hold his tongue. Add an entire suitcase full of daddy issues and you have an entirely engaging and entertaining work of fiction. But Tom is one of those fortunate people who find that sometimes when life calls for changes you roll with the punches and change. Certain reviews of Domestic Violets have categorized this book as chick-lit but it is far from that. As a matter of fact it isn’t for or about love at all. Pure and simple it is satire of the highest degree. Life, relationships, boring jobs, publishing, sex, drugs, etc. nothing is safe from the critical eye of Matthew Norman.

However, the real reason this story works so well is the amount of clever and witty humor that first appeared on page one and never ended. At times, Norman had me in stitches. At others he had me in tears. And do you know why? Because he understands the human condition and while giving the readers a sense of the absurd he also hit the nail on the head more often than not. He told us in simple terms what people think, and feel, and say when their relationships are in trouble and in an odd way he also told us what they say and think and feel when they need to repair a failing relationship. This is a story to savor. It is well- crafted, funny, down-to-earth, flows quickly, and has that “it” quality I look for in every book; that page turning what-the-heck happens-next-oh-crap-this-is-totally-entertaining-and-wow-am-I-enjoying-myself-quality that you don’t often find in fiction these days.

Anyone reading my reviews for very long would see that this is obviously not my normal bill-of-faire but on the advice of a friend (thanks Lisa) I gave it a try and found myself enjoying every page of this finely crafted novel. Do yourself a favor. Pick up Domestic Violets today. Give it a read and see if you don’t agree.

4 ½ stars out of 5

The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin

Additional Reading:

Harper Collins Domestic Violets Page

Matthew Norman’s Music Playlist for Domestic Violets

IndieBound Review of Domestic Violets

Mathew Norman Blog

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