Beatriz Williams’ third novel The Secret Life of Violet Grant is out today. I’ve read her second book, A Hundred Summers, and also one of the romance novels that she writes under the pen name Julianna Gray. RT Books praises her writing for her “smart characters, snappy dialogue and ingenious literary devices that turn the ordinary into extraordinary.”
Ms. Williams’ newest book falls into the time-slip category that is so near and dear to my heart. The description reads like a Kate Morton novel, which is also a win for me.
Here is what Putnam has to say about The Secret Life of Violet Grant:
Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale.
Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Madison Avenue world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over “crime passionnel” of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.
Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.
As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.