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July 17, 2012

Summer reading recommendation! A Violet Season by Kathy Leonard Czepiel is a fantastic read. Set in the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York in the late 1800s, A Violet Season chronicles one growing season on a family-owned violet farm. Brothers embroiled in a long-standing feud change the course of (at least) one woman’s life forever.

A story of mothers and daughters, husbands and sons, A Violet Season delivers the perfect mix of historical detail, carefully crafted characters, and rich narrative. Heart-pounding at times, heartbreaking at others, A Violet Season’s imagery and undercurrent of societal unrest does justice to an earlier time and sheds light on the challenges we face today.

Beyond the farming and family strife, however, A Violet Season also reveals insights into the early stages of what became women’s suffrage and what was later called the women’s movement.

You might think because this historical novel’s backdrop involves growing flowers that it’s merely a pastoral scene made into a novel, but you’d be wrong.

Some sections are downright thrilling, mysterious, and suspenseful. I’m not joking. My heart was racing, several times. I almost couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

I recommend this book with my whole bookworm’s heart.

A violet season - book cover book review

Check out A Violet Season trailer video, with author Kathy Leonard Czepiel talking about the book.

And, because I can find even the smallest dog reference in just about anything, I share these two snippets.

A Violet Season’s Praying Bull Terrier

The book also includes a vignette (based in fact) of a bull terrier, owned by a riverboat captain, who bowed his head “like a serious old monk” as if praying for the passengers, until the captain said, “Amen.” Once released from his pastoral duties, the terrier then cruised the crowd for children “in search of their approval.”

A Violet Season’s Dog-Walking Rebel

A Violet Season sports one “liberated” female character brave enough to wear “split skirts” while she “walked her pet dog — a silly, citified thing to do … ”

A Violet Season Giveaway

Post a comment to this blog post before Midnight (mountain time) Sunday, July 22, 2012, to enter to win my one extra paperback copy of A Violet Season. One entry per person. I’ll do a random drawing next week to pick a winner. I’ll email that person to get a mailing address.


FTC Disclosure

Kathy Leonard Czepiel mailed me a free review copy of her debut novel (A Violet Season), in part because she is a friend of mine going back to our time as work colleagues at the American Animal Hospital Association in the late 1990s. However, I also bought with my own money both the Kindle version of A Violet Season and a paperback of the book. I was not compensated in any way for this review … unless you count getting an unexpected mention in the acknowledgments, merely for offering a social media crash course during a dinner last spring in New York City and a few email consults here and there.

A violet season book review

A Violet Season by Kathy Leonard Czepiel

Simon & Schuster

July 10, 2012

A Violet Season Paperback – $15

A Violet Season Kindle version – $9.99


About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

    1. That would be great, Vera. A Violet Season does have a nice view of life in the Hudson Valley, NYC, and even Albany in the late 1800s.

  1. Sounds like a terrific read. If not the lucky winner, definitely adding to my shopping list! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  2. Just the idea of a violet farm sounds intriguing, but add in the other stuff and it sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for the great review.

  3. Thanks for the love, Rox! I hope your readers enjoy my novel! Sorry the cat got a name and a little more play in this one. But the praying dog story is absolutely true. He lived on the Hudson River steamship Mary Powell in the late 19th century, and his name (in real life, as in the novel) was Buster. I’ll see if I can work more dog stuff into the novel I’m working on next. 🙂

  4. This looks fabulous! I am going to sit on a beach in Michigan in two weeks and this would be my perfect summer reading! Thanks for the info!

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