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In Violet's Wake Paperback – December 3, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Devereaux-Nelson's debut novel, five hapless men in contemporary Michigan struggle to overcome the whirlwind of devastation left in manipulative femme fatale Violet Benjamin's wake. When Violet suddenly abandons husband #5, Marshall, his jealous suspicions lead him to another of Violet's exes, Costa. Bonding over their shared marital battle scars, they go on to befriend Violet's other ex-husbands, including unstable Brian, dutiful Tim, and lovesick Owen. The men, united by their common fixation, together begin to find a way of coping with life after Violet. Meanwhile, their beautiful, narcissistic, therapy-loving ex-wife has set her sights on a new target: Jake, the one man who never fell for her wiles. Learning this, the men decide to find Jake and warn him of Violet's sinister power before it's too late. A diffuse structure and stereotypical characters prevents the novel from building up much suspense before reaching its forgettable climax. Violet herself remains a frustrating cipher, leaving the reader wondering why her ex-husbands are still obsessed with her. As a tale of romantic loss, though, the novel is more successful, offering a moving portrait of the neurotic fixations of unhappy lovers and the bonds they forge to overcome grief. (Dec.)

From Booklist

Violet’s sixth husband, Marshall, decides she left him for husband number two. When Marshall shows up swinging, Costa recognizes the signs and becomes Marshall’s post-Violet mentor. They soon gather Violet’s other exes into a mild, supportive fraternity, including Brian, who succumbed to his bipolar disorder when Violet left and covered his house in hubcaps; Tim, a computer programmer who moved back home to take care of his aging parents; and Owen, a veterinarian who is secretly still in touch with his ex. The men are haunted by Violet’s constant comparisons to Dead Winston, husband number one, and Jake, her high-school crush. When the exes find out Violet is planning to track Jake down, they take a road trip to northern Michigan to see for themselves what they couldn’t live up to. Snippets of Violet’s therapy hint at a problem more serious than self-involvement, and even though the tone stays light, Violet is more villain than victim. Readers of chick lit with a high tolerance for the gender dichotomy will be drawn to this twist on the post-breakup bonding story. --Susan Maguire
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593765347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593765347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,441,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
My toddler grabbed this book off of a library shelf and handed it to me. He was attracted to the cover and I ended up loving the story. I thought the characters were fun and I enjoyed all of their different personalities. I also liked how the main character had her story told in the book (from the report of a therapist). I also (like a prior review) had guessed a secret for the "one that got away" from the start, but overall I thought it was a great read. I couldn't put it down and had it finished in a day. This is definitely a book I would recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hilarious! I received this book, free, in a Goodread's First Read's Giveaway. Thank You! This novel is full of laughter, heartbreak, cussing, and lots of surprises! Violet has to be some kind of woman! The kind of woman that "...could use you and make you feel like she was doing you a favor at the same time." Violet provokes her 5 ex-husbands to join together and take a road trip to warn, Jake, potential husband # 7 to run for his life. What happens next is hilarious. Great story!
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By Angie on March 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I thought this book was boring and not very believable, and the woman was so annoying. I don't like women who drag guys along in real life and I felt like that's what the woman did in this book. I can't imagine a group of guys divorced from the same woman becoming friends and then going on a road trip like they did. The book also didn't really have much of a plot (at least not a very realistic one). I would not recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
This story is full of humor and sadness. The five ex-husbands of Violet form a group and try to warn the next guy (victim?), who just happens to be Violet's crush from high school. I enjoyed the flashes of scenery from Saginaw, Michigan. I think the character voices of the men were amazing!
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