american history / book blog / book reviews / books / fiction / historical fiction

Sunday Scoop

A Violet Season

By Kathy Leonard Czepiel


Hi again to all my blog friends!! I am just back from a wonderful vacation at Myrtle Beach and Gatlinburg, Tenn. I had a great time relaxing and hanging out with my friends Nate, Amanda, Felicia and Eli. You guys are probably my biggest fans!! Unfortunately, the vacation is about to end. One more day and then back to the grind again on Tuesday. I did finish two books on vacation.

One thing I had not mentioned is that I have also started dieting.  I started 2 weeks before vacation; my husband said that it was stupid. I had to start sometime and now that I am back it is back on. The plan is to limit calories and portions and eat more whole grains, fat-free foods and non-processed items. Overall just to eat healthy is the goal and for me it takes a lot of planning. I’ll keep you updated!!

Now for the real reason we are all here! Today’s book review. I hope that you enjoy this review. It is a glimpse of the life of women in the 1800s.

This book was released in 2012 and yes I read it as a real book, a paperback. I love the cover. I love anything purple and my birth month flower is the violet. It is Kathy Czepiel’s first book, hopefully not the last!! This book is a great historical fiction book set in the late 1800’s. It is a story that revolves around the Fletcher family and the family business of violet raising in the Hudson River Valley. We get a look at how hard the women worked in their everyday lives.

Alice has quit school to work on the farm. Life on the farm is full of hardships and they never have enough money. Alice’s mother earns money as a wet-nurse. When Alice is sent away by her father, Frank, he states she is in the city working at a factory. Her mother, Ida smells a rat, but doesn’t know what has happened to her daughter. Where has he sent her? What is she doing? Is she okay? These are basic questions that her mother can’t answer. After her friend Joe receives a disturbing letter from Alice,  Ida and Joe go to look for Alice. What will they find? What horrible thing has happened to Alice, to make her think Joe won’t want her anymore? The truth is heartbreaking and rocks the foundation of Ida and Frank’s marriage. Frank is not the person Ida thought he was.

This time period is one where women were beginning to become independent. They had limited options as far as work and employment. This book shows us how attitudes and treatment of women over the years have undergone changes. Women of the 1800s were such strong people and had to endure so much.

The book is well written and thought out. It is told from Ida and Alice’s viewpoints, but it is not confusing. The book contains excerpts from an interview with an older and more experienced Alice that give insights to the chapters and how she felt about things. I really enjoyed this book. There are a lot of issues packed into this novel. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.


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