Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ARC review: The Violet Hour by Katherine Hill

I gratefully received an advanced reader's copy of this novel from Net Galley and Scribner in exchange for an honest review.
Book summary(via Goodreads):
Life hasn’t always been perfect for Abe and Cassandra Green, but an afternoon on the San Francisco Bay might be as good as it gets. Abe is a rheumatologist, piloting his coveted new boat. Cassandra is a sculptor, finally gaining modest attention for her art. Their beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, is heading to Harvard in the fall. Somehow, they’ve made things work. But then, out of nowhere, they plunge into a terrible fight. Cassandra has been unfaithful. In a fit of fury, Abe throws himself off the boat.

A love story that begins with the end of a marriage, The Violet Hour follows a modern family through past and present, from the funeral home in the Washington suburbs where Cassandra and her siblings grow up to the San Francisco public health clinic where Abe and Cassandra first meet. As the Greens navigate the passage of time—the expectations of youth, the concessions of middle age, the headiness of desire, the bitterness of loss—they must come to terms with the fragility of their intimacy, the strange legacies they inherit from their parents, and the kind of people they want to be. Exquisitely written, The Violet Hour is the deeply moving story of a family suddenly ripped apart, but then just possibly reborn. 
This insomniac's opinion:
Sigh. I loved the first chapter of this novel. Unfortunately, I really did not enjoy the rest of the novel. In fact, I found myself daydreaming about reading other books while I was reading this one. Double sigh.
It is possible, although rare, that one can love a novel that has no endearing characters in it. This novel, however, had no endearing characters and it was the true reason that I could not lose myself in the story. The plot was mainly relationship based, and such a plot really has no promise without likeable, or at the very least quirky, characters.
Worth staying up all night to read?
Rating: 3 stars, but barely.

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