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Book Review: A Violet Season

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


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.

MyKidsEatSquid - July 27, 2012

I enjoy books that use history as a backdrop and driving force for the action–I’ll have to check this out.

Sheryl - July 23, 2012

Sounds like a fascinating read!

Vera Marie Badertscher - July 23, 2012

Sounds delightful. Do you think the sense of place is strong enough that I should review it at A Traveler’s Library?

    Roxanne Hawn - July 23, 2012

    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.

Bonnie - July 22, 2012

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

Janine - July 21, 2012

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

Heather - July 20, 2012

This sounds like a fascinating read. Hope I win a copy.

Jane Boursaw - July 19, 2012

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.

The Writer's [Inner] Journey - July 19, 2012

Love this! And I am so excited to be featuring Kathy on my blog within the next few days. She’ll be discussing her process of writing/creating.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 19, 2012

    Great news!

Brette Sember - July 18, 2012

Sounds great. Adding to my Amazon cart

Irene - July 18, 2012

So nice that it’s set in the Hudson Valley—my neck of the woods 🙂

Alexandra - July 18, 2012

I wrote down the title when you mentioned it earlier. Sounds like a great read. Thanks!

Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi - July 18, 2012

Sounds really interesting. I’ll put this on my To Buy list!

Shannon Barnard - July 17, 2012

This does sound like a good book. I am adding it to my book list.

Kathy Leonard Czepiel - July 17, 2012

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. 🙂

Betsy Davis - July 17, 2012

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!

Linda Martin - July 17, 2012

Would love to read this!

Jackie Bouchard - July 17, 2012

Oh, this sounds good! I’ll add it to my To Read pile.

Very cool about the mention in the acknowledgments!

Living Large - July 17, 2012

Sounds like a great read, I’m putting it on my Kindle list! Congrats on the book mention, BTW!

Comments are closed