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Violette Between [Kindle Edition]

Alison Strobel
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Between here and the past, there lies a place…
…a place of longing for what has been rather than hoping for what could be.

A true artist, Violette is passionate and emotional. Climbing back into life after suffering a loss, she teeters on the precipice of a new relationship with Christian, a psychologist who not only understands her struggles but offers safety and his heart.

As Violette and Christian begin to feel something they both thought impossible, tragedy strikes again. Violette becomes trapped in a place of past memories–and she finds that she may not want to come back. What would it be like to choose a place between the past and the present?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alison Strobel, the author of Worlds Collide, a novelist whose father, award-winning author Lee Strobel, instilled her with a love of stories at a young age. Alison and her husband, Daniel, live in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

August 4, 2005

Somewhere between the car and the gymnasium, Violette lost her burnt umber. She’d seen it while packing her supplies that morning, and after going back and forth to the house three times to retrieve other items she’d forgotten, she would have spotted it if it had fallen out there. She wondered if she’d ever be organized enough to keep track of her possessions on a consistent basis. She doubted it.
“Back in a sec,” she called to the art student who was her assistant.
The petite girl nodded and waved, then went back to mixing
tints in paint trays. Violette retraced her steps to the car, making
her way from the back gym door through the parking lot, her eyes
glued to the concrete all the way. A few feet from the passenger door
of her hatchback she found the tube–crushed flat and oozing its
hue onto the blacktop. Only part of her groaned in frustration; the
rest of her had to admit that the swirl of paint looked rather artistic.
With one last look at the abstract mess squished into the pavement,
she turned back to the gym. “Oh well,” she sighed. “A new
task for Callie then.”
“Your cell rang,” Callie called when Violette walked back into
the gym. With a sudden bounce in her step, she made her way to
her backpack and pulled the phone from its pocket. She hadn’t had
it long, and still thought it a bit silly; only three people had the
number, and she was hardly the type who needed to be easily accessible.
But knowing that Christian could call her any time he had a
break in his schedule made it worth it. Sure enough, his number
was listed in the call log, and she hit the speed dial as she rummaged
through her supplies for her roller brush.
“Screening your calls?” he answered, voice teasing.
Violette laughed. “Yeah, this thing just never stops ringing!”
“How’s it going?”
“Not as good as I’d hoped. Haven’t gotten that far, and my
burnt umber took one for the team out in the parking lot.”
“Yeah, but oh well; could be worse. How’s your day been?”
“Depressing. Two couples bent on divorce and a third where
the husband refuses to attend the sessions.”
“Doesn’t sound good.”
“It isn’t. Forget it, though. I’m bringing you guys lunch; what
do you want?”
“You have to ask?”
She could sense his grin through the phone. “I assumed the
usual, but with you I can never be sure. Burger Hut it is. Callie
want cheese on hers?”
“Callie’s leaving at eleven thirty. She has a class.”
“Oh, all right then. Lunch for two. Even better–I’ll have you
all to myself.”
Violette’s stomach tingled, and she felt the smile spread on her
face. “See you in an hour then.”
Phone closed, Violette hummed as she pushed a new cover
onto the paint roller and inspected Callie’s mixing. “Looks good,
girl. Do me a favor and pick up a tube of burnt umber when you
come back this afternoon?”
“No problem. What do we do now?”
Violette shuffled back a few steps and eyed the wall. “Now we
paint a mural.”

Christian was still a new habit to Violette. It hadn’t been that long
since they’d simply been friends, and here they were at the beginning
of a full-fledged relationship. She hadn’t been looking for it–
quite the opposite, in fact. But love did seem to be evolving.
Sometimes she wasn’t sure she even wanted it, but how could she
possibly tell that to Christian?
No, if she was honest, she’d admit she was happy about it. Not
so long ago she had been convinced she’d be alone for the rest of
her life, and here she was a girlfriend again. No more meals for one,
no more holidays alone–how could that be bad? Christian was
good for her: steady but not inflexible, rational but not boring,
mature but not stodgy. He appreciated her and her art, and the
latter was almost more important to her than the former. She’d
changed a lot in the last few years, but her deep connection to her
craft still remained, and finding someone who understood that
instead of merely tolerating it was easier said than done.
Violette was, at her heart of hearts, at her very core, an artist.
Her love of beauty affected the way she viewed the world, the way
she interacted with people, the way she lived her faith. The way she
manifested her artistic nature had shifted as she’d matured, but
remained integral to her essence. She was no longer the quirky
nonconformist who abandoned herself to every whim that crossed
her mind or who deliberately adopted outrageous habits purely for
the bafflement it caused others, but she hadn’t lost all her sense of
adventure and love of the unusual. It was sewn into the fabric of
her soul. When God had knit her together, he’d used some pretty
funky yarn, the kind that changed colors every few inches and had
little wisps hanging off it.
Even though art was so integral to who she was, Violette
almost hadn’t allowed herself to attempt it. Her mother had been
a celebrated artist in her hippie days, and for years Violette didn’t
even try to create in case she couldn’t live up to her mother’s expectations.
Not that Sara DuMonde had been a pushy mom; she’d
simply assumed Violette had inherited her gift for composition
and saw no reason to leave room for the possibility that she hadn’t.
When Violette finally allowed herself to experiment by taking an
art appreciation class in high school, she felt as if a volcano had
erupted inside her: the images and ideas just kept flowing hot and
liquid from her brain through her hand into the brush, the charcoal,
the pencil. It had been such a relief to discover she could
draw. She’d never forget her mother’s face the day she brought
home her first charcoal rendering: it was the look of happy shock
that comes with finding a possession one thought was gone for
good. Her mother was buried with that picture four years later
when cancer got the best of her.
Being who she was made finding friends who would go with her
flow somewhat difficult. When Violette met Alexine in college, she
likened it to finding a soul mate. She was surrounded by artists–
one expected it at an art school–but few lived and breathed it the
way Violette did. Alexine had the same multicolored, wispy soul
she did, and Violette was sure she saw traces of the sassy spirit she
had so loved in her mother. Alexine became Violette’s roommate,
surrogate sister, confidante, and business partner. Between the two
of them they managed to get the rent covered and the utilities
paid–although noodle cups and grilled cheese sandwiches tended
to be the standard meal fare. They threw themselves into the
starving artist role with abandon, content to skimp on what the
world called necessities in order to fuel their obsession with beauty
and art. Who said you needed new clothes every season? Who said
three place settings weren’t enough for two people? Who said towels
were useless once they were threadbare? As long as they didn’t
freeze (not likely in Southern California) or starve, they could
spend the majority of their money on paint and canvas. Both
agreed it was the best investment.
College was eight years behind them, and still they both lived
the life of the starving artist–although, by this time, the starving
part was by choice. The opening of a gallery, Galleria Bleu, seven
years ago by another of their college friends, Xavier Thomas, proved
to be the defining point in their careers, and for the first time they
could truly claim to make their living off their art. They were no
longer roommates, but their friendship was as strong as ever, tempered
by the trials life randomly throws at people. One best friend
was good enough for Violette.
Of course, now Christian had entered the picture. Significant
others had walked in and out of their lives before, and each time
Violette had to relearn how to share her time. Sometimes the intruder
eased right into their little world with minimal upset; other
times he barged in with all the grace and gentleness of a hippo in
heat. Christian, thankfully, had been one of the easy ones. For one
thing, Alexine adored him, taking pride in the fact that she had
been the one to introduce him to Violette. The feeling was mutual,
although Violette doubted Christian would claim to adore Alexine;
adore wasn’t the kind of word he threw around the way Alexine
did. Also, by the time Christian appeared, the women were in separate
houses and on separate schedules; their lives didn’t intersect
as much as they once had. Sharing came a little more easily. But
still, just knowing someone else wanted first dibs on her time made
her balk just a little in defense of the other who wanted some of
her too. It was the same part of her that wondered whether she
should be in a committed relationship at all; life was much simpler
when she was a loner.
She was doing her best, though, to open herself up to Christian.
Most of her was on board with the relationship now; having
eased into it with a friendship first made it easier to navigate. But
still one corner of her heart remained guarded, refusing to fall for
Christian entirely. Christian didn’t know–she couldn’t bring herself
to tell him–but if things got any more serious she’d have to
say something. It wasn’t fair to him that he wasn’t getting as much
as he was giving. She still held out hope that something would
change for her, that sh...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1154 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009I9EO7O
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,174,417 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Completely Wrapped Up September 10, 2006
As a man, as a fan of thrillers and such, I don't normally read books aimed at the female audience. It's not that I don't appreciate a great novel ("The Secret Life of Bees" is one of my favorites, for example), it's that I want realistic characters and scenarios as opposed to romantic idealism.

Which is why I like Alison Strobel's books. In "Worlds Collide," she gave us humor and romance in a story of true conflict and honesty. "Violette Between" is even harder hitting, dealing with sorrow and loss and relational struggles. Violette, a woman widowed at a young age, finds herself slowly opening to a new relationship with an understanding man. She is hesitant to commit, though. When a fall from a ladder puts her in the hospital, she wrestles through memories and finds her heart torn between the husband she lost and the man who now loves her.

Strobel embraces all aspects--spiritual concerns, physical attraction, and emotional seesawing--without compromising the integrity of her story. Through flashbacks (which were sometimes distracting for me), she gives understanding of Violette's past and present relationships. Although I found the opening to be slow going, I was drawn into Violette's turmoil. The dialogue is believable. The characters are richly drawn. By the end, I was completely wrapped up in the answers to Violette's questions.

With Strobel's clear vision, she is sure to give us more enjoyable novels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Reading That Is Not Teachy or Preachy October 15, 2008
Violette Between hits me. It is a story about people whose spouses died. I'm one of those. Those of us who have lost our mates at an unexpectedly early age (Is there ever an age that is not too young?) have peculiar scars. Reading this novel brings thoughts to mind that I had forgotten, and it heals emotional damage I didn't realize I had.

Alison Strobel portrays the pain so well that one would think she had lived through it. The scene of the closet that needs to be cleaned out is one that all bereaved will benefit from because it allows the reader to step outside and look in by seeing how others manage similar problems. If you are one of these wounded warriors, you must read this book. Others will love it too for the good story and the well-crafted approach.

She does a masterful job of showing what could be going on in the mind of a person in a coma. I wonder whether she has experienced this condition. Violette, the main character, is an artist. Strobel portrays the technical aspects of art so well that I wonder whether she is an artist.

This book keeps me turning the pages with its tension in the people's minds, anxiety about what will happen, and switching back and forth between two... or three...people's stories. The use of flashbacks makes the novel a challenging piece of writing that the reader can enjoy following. The flashbacks require the reader to pay attention. They are skillfully done, but the novel cannot be read effectively if the reader is thinking about something else. As a Southerner accustomed to reading William Faulkner and Eudora Welty, I have learned to enjoy flashbacks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was excellent! May 30, 2007
By D. Roe
I thought this book was absolutely excellent! The story was great and it really dealt with some issues that Christians face today in a Christ-like way. It didn't condone practices that go against the Bible, but did discuss how Christians should deal with them. Overall, Alison is an excellent author, and I look forward to seeing more of her work!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Viollete Between, by Alison Strobel Morrow October 10, 2006
Viollete and Christian are survivors of their lost spouses; trying to build a future together in spite of their painful memories. Drawn together after their respective grieving periods, they've forged a tenuous bond, taking tentative steps forward in new, awkward love, as well as getting to know the God they'd previously blamed for taking their loved ones from them.

Viollete - a free-spirited painter - struggles with losing her husband Saul to a sudden heart attack, and even though she's found new love with Christian, a relationship psychologist who's also recovering from losing his wife Cynthia to cancer, she finds it hard to let go of the past.

Despite lingering doubts about Viollete's love for him, Christian is happy; his practice is thriving, he and Viollete are at least enjoying each other, and both of them are growing in their relationship with God. Inside, he still questions her true feelings, wondering how much she still hangs onto Saul, but for the moment, life is good.

Tragedy comes with Viollete's fall while painting a mural, leaving her unresponsive and in a coma. While she wanders a ghostly hall in her mind, forced to watch moments from her past with Saul, Christian is once again faced with losing a loved one, and he desperately searches God's will for peace of mind, while paradoxically blaming Him for threatening his love once again.

Viollete Between, by Allison Strobel Morrow, admirably tries to take us to a place few Christian novels dare meddle with - the interior halls of the mind, as Viollete works through her past anguish at losing Saul, reconciling her love for him and the growing love she feels for Christian.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars loving, losing, and letting go
This poignant and simple novel by Alison Strobel makes us fall in love with these characters and get just a taste of what it is to truly miss somebody that you can't get back. Read more
Published 13 months ago by E. Deliz
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written
Dr. Christian Roch is attracted to Violette Corterm's unique personality and a while after they meet a relationship begins. Read more
Published on October 29, 2008 by Katrina L. Burchett
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I was impressed with this book though at time I found it a bit difficult to follow. The narrative goes from third person to first person, alternating chapters. Read more
Published on December 15, 2006 by Tina_K
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book was wonderful. I randomly picked up World's Collide and instantly became a fan of Alison's books. Violette Between is a wonderful story. Read more
Published on November 30, 2006 by S. Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story about the risk of loving again
"Between HERE and the PAST there lies a place...a place of longing for what has been rather than hoping for what could be... Read more
Published on November 9, 2006 by Cara Putman
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but good...
I finished Violette Between late last night. I have to admit that the ending surprised me. This story was very different than any novel I've read before. Read more
Published on October 23, 2006 by Michelle Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing questions, terrific characters, excellent book
Violette Between by Alison Strobel is the story of a woman given the chance to relive her past and the choice whether to stay within it or move forward to the future. Read more
Published on October 10, 2006 by Christina Lockstein
5.0 out of 5 stars SHE KEEPS GETTING BETTER!
Alison gave us WORLDS COLLIDE - a good read. And now this project which shows how Ms. Strobel is maturing as a writer. Read more
Published on May 23, 2006 by Don Pape
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful character study
Violette was once a highly regarded artist who lived life with élan and loved her Saul with her soul. When Saul suddenly died, Violette died too. Read more
Published on May 20, 2006 by Harriet Klausner
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More About the Author

Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Alison began writing stories in elementary school, following in the footsteps of her journalist/author father, Lee Strobel. She moved to California where she was inspired to write her first novel, "Worlds Collide," which released with Waterbrook Press in 2005. Her sophomore release, "Violette Between" came the following year and earned her a Rita Award nomination from the Romance Writers of America. After writing "Violette Between" Alison took a break from writing to enjoy life with her new baby girl Abigail. She now has another daughter, Penelope Jane, and two more books published--"The Weight of Shadows" (with Zondervan Publishing) and "Reinventing Rachel" (with David C. Cook), as well as two more releasing in 2011. To learn more about her or to sign up for her newsletter, please visit

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