Domestic Violets

When Sarah Jio called in to our Book Club a few months ago and mentioned she was partnering with a Baltimore-based writer for a his & hers book club challenge, our whole group knew what book we wanted to choose. Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman.

as always, click image for source

Synopsis:

Tom Violet always thought that by the time he turned thirty-five, he’d have everything going for him. Fame. Fortune. A beautiful wife. A satisfying career as a successful novelist. A happy dog to greet him at the end of the day.

The reality, though, is far different. He’s got a wife, but their problems are bigger than he can even imagine. And he’s written a novel, but the manuscript he’s slaved over for years is currently hidden in his desk drawer while his father, an actual famous writer, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His career, such that it is, involves mind-numbing corporate buzzwords, his pretentious archnemesis Gregory, and a hopeless, completely inappropriate crush on his favorite coworker. Oh . . . and his dog, according to the vet, is suffering from acute anxiety.

Tom’s life is crushing his soul, but he’s decided to do something about it. (Really.) Domestic Violets is the brilliant and beguiling story of a man finally taking control of his own happiness—even if it means making a complete idiot of himself along the way.

I completely identified with Sarah when she said that the book made her blush in its first few paragraphs. It’s something that I could never have read at work, for I would have been beet red at times and completely exasperated at others. A dynamic read, Matthew Norman tells the tale of Tom in a way that is completely relatable to anyone who has family secrets, looks up to their father or (I would imagine) has a small child.

It’s very funny with a surprisingly emotional side. I’m tempted to liken it to The Family Stone or Friends With Benefits. Touted as one thing but then sucks you in with a sub-plot to bring it home.

Another quick read for me that had the added bonus of knowing the general geographic location of the story. Highly recommend.

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