The Secret Life of Violet Grant: A Novel. Beatriz Williams. Penguin Group (USA). May 5, 2015. 528 pp. ISBN#: 9780425274842.
Vivian Schuyler has graduated from college and now has a job at the competitive Metropolitan magazine, much to the chagrin of her family who wish she would be more concerned about finding a husband, a wealthy husband by preference. She’s bored in her new job as she’s not taken as a serious writer. All that is about to change when a package is delivered that will change her life forever. Add to that the fact that a gorgeous hunk of a guy, Dr. Paul, and Vivian inadvertently crash into each other, beginning a tumultuous, sexy relationship as fraught with complexities as the material in the valise of that unexpected package.
Violet Schuyler Grant was a young, naïve girl whom Dr. Walter Grant quickly wooed. Violet was a brilliant scientist who got her first recognition from Walter. Overwhelmed with gratefulness, she easily fell into his arms. But something is wrong, at least to the perceptive reader, for Walter is a control freak and it appears that Violet is groomed to satisfy his unending sexual appetites. It also seems it is she who is doing all the pivotal scientific work for which her husband gets credit. Meanwhile, Violet and Walter are living in Europe, with her family having little to see and therefore little to comment upon.
Meanwhile, WWI is looming for Violet and it is 1964 for Vivian who now sets about to explore her Aunt Violet’s disappearance. All that is known about the latter is the fact it was reported in the news that she killed her husband and escaped with her lover, to where no one knows.
This then is the story of Vivian whose lover makes a devil’s deal for money and abandons his great love for another woman. It’s also the story of spies, double agents, and killers who attempt to change the course of history at the onset of World War I. The beginning of the novel proceeds at a slow rate but jettisons to riveting plots and counter-plots as the story progresses.
The pages reveal an explicit diary documenting the insatiable appetites of one character while a young British army captain turns out to be so much more than any character in the story anticipated. If you love mystery, intrigue, spies, murder, chaos, cheating lovers, and so much more, this is your next best springtime or summer read! Beatriz Williams never disappoints with her deft plotting, twists and turns, and hearty, hot romance. This is her best novel to date!!! Highly recommended!