ARC Review of Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

Posted August 4, 2011 by Kara in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: August 9th, 2011
Pages: 352
Genre: Literary Fiction, Adult

Domestic VioletsDomestic Violets by Matthew Norman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

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 finished reading this book last night before bed, and since then I have been looking forward to writing this review. Can I just say how much I adored reading this book? I said earlier that this was the best book I have read so far this year, and I meant it. I loved every little thing about it. As soon as this book hits the stores, I am going to go buy a copy for my personal library.

Domestic Violets opens a little bit strangely, with its main character Tom having a little problem with erectile dysfunction. Therefore, I was a little bit worried about how the book would play out. It turns out though, that I shouldn’t have worried. The story was strange, funny, quirky, pathetic, and absolutely a joy to read. As a reader and reviewer, when a book is great you just know it. This will be a story that just resonates with its readers like it did me. I am physically sad that it is over.

Let’s talk about the characters for a second, because they are what push the story over the edge into fabulous territory. There’s Tom Violet, who is so likeable and flawed at the same time that it makes him feel like a real person and not just a character. Tom hates his job in corporate America, he loves his wife Anna, but the passion has gone out of their relationship. Tom develops a crush on the other copywriter at work. This makes his marriage even worse, because he keeps comparing his relationship with Anna to his relationship with Katie. Then there is the fact that his father is a famous, award winning writer. Tom idolizes his father, but is afraid his marriage will end up failed just like all of the relationships Curtis has had. Tom is also writing a book, but has been afraid to show it to anyone but Katie, because he is afraid that they will hate it.

Aside from all those story elements, there is a quirky cast of characters who all feel like they could have existed in the world that I personally inhabit. This is a book for readers, writers, and lovers of books. It’s a story about normal people in an insane everyday world, dealing with real life problems. The things that happen in this novel could easily happen to you and me. And that’s what makes it so great.

Full of dry humor and a whole lot of love, Domestic Violets is a book that everyone should pick up. I would stand out on a street corner in the pouring rain and promote this book for free. That’s how much I loved it. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Highly recommended by me.

To preorder a copy of Domestic Violets(please do), click on the book cover or link below. 
Domestic Violets: A Novel (P.S.)

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