- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; First Edition / First Printing edition (July 16, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476710325
- ISBN-13: 978-1476710327
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,712,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Violet Hour: A Novel Hardcover – July 16, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
This debut novel begins strikingly: after an argument with his wife while they are sailing in the San Francisco Bay, Abe Green dives off the boat and swims away—for eight years. The Violet Hour, the title a reference to the evening that draws a sailor homeward in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, chronicles just such a metaphoric journey for Abe, his unfaithful wife Cassandra, a sculptor, and their daughter, Elizabeth. After Abe's dramatic plunge, the story skips forward nearly a decade to the sudden death of Cassandra's father, an esteemed mortician in Bethesda, then flits back and forth across time to Abe and Cassandra's courtship, to Cassandra's infidelities, and to Elizabeth's young adulthood as a medical student and lover first to Kyle, then briefly to the enigmatic Toby. In flashbacks we witness both Elizabeth and earlier, Cassandra, being taken to see bodies lying in wait in the basement of the family funeral home—in one particularly striking scene, Cassandra, whose father recognized her artistic talent, is asked while still a child to paint the face of a dead woman to prepare it for viewing. This is an affecting tale about decent but flawed people—the volatile Cassandra, blazing with helplessness and grief; literal Abe, good at doctoring but bad at messes, and Elizabeth, desperate to find a way to help her parents remember their strengths as they each seek their own violet hours of self-knowledge and forgiveness. Agent: Jim Rutman, Sterling Lord Literastic. (July)
How does a marriage fall apart? Hill’s first novel mines the lives of her characters in an attempt to answer this question. Beginning at the end of Cassandra and Abe’s relationship, the story opens with the two on an afternoon sailing trip with their teenage daughter, Elizabeth. Suddenly, when Abe discovers that Cassandra has been unfaithful, the marriage implodes; Abe erupts in a fit of anger and jumps ship, leaving mother and daughter to navigate their way through San Francisco Bay without him. The novel then oscillates between the beginning of the couple’s relationship and forward to the death of Elizabeth’s father in Maryland, exploring moments throughout the pair’s lives that seem both momentous and inconsequential. Hill handles the intimacy of family ties with care and tenderness. Readers who enjoyed Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (2010) will relate as Hill’s characters similarly and systematically unravel from each other. --Heather Paulson
Top customer reviews
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Very unsatifyimg ending.
Some parts were written so well I only wish that it ended better.
She is a beautiful writer.
Most recent customer reviews
No one liked it. It was inconsistent reading. Very hard to get into the story!!!!
Would not suggest reading this book.....
“There are all kinds of ways for a relationship to be tested, even broken, some,...Read more