Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

Title: Domestic Violets
Author: Matthew Norman
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publish Date: August 9, 2011
Source: Netgalley

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You love witty books.
  • You don't mind laughing out loud in public.
  • You like reading about characters that you'd want to be friends with.
What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

Guys, let me just gush about this book a little bit. If you are looking for a book to laugh over and to get sucked into, this is the book for you. I was absolutely thrilled when I won the chance to read this book through Netgalley (and okay, I know that you don't really "win" things through Netgalley but this book felt like winning for serious).

I'm always on the look out for books that talk about my town, Washington, DC, that aren't political thrillers. This book fits the bill. Norman does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the city (yes, there are actually people in DC that don't work on the Hill). A lot of the book is focused in Georgetown with a bit of Dupont Circle thrown in. One of my favorite indie bookstores, Politics and Prose, even gets a shout out! It was refreshing to see my DC written down just as I know it!

Tom Violet is a really awesome character. He's like the type of co-worker that I'd want to have around to while away the day with at work. He struggles with being in his famous writer dad's shadow. His dad has a personality that is larger than life and Tom is sort of doubtful that he'll ever be able to measure up. All of the characters in Domestic Violets are really well-written. They feel like people that you may come across sometime in your life. I love when characters feel that realistic.

This book is amazing. It's funny, it's touching, it's happy, it's realistic. This book has something for everyone. I know we still have a few months in the year so this may be a little premature but I definitely think this is going to rank as one of my favorite books for 2011.

Bottom line: you need to read this book!


  1. Woohoo! This is next on my list - several people have said there's no way I wouldn't like this book. You confirm. Great review!

  2. I just finished this - I felt mostly the same except that I thought the dialogue was a bit too clever for real people!

  3. Totally agree with your review, Meg. This has been one of my favorite reads of the year so far as well. I was laughing out loud while reading it more than a few times!

  4. I've heard a lot about this one. I'm going to have to read it if only for the different perspective on DC! Great review!
    Kim @ Time2Read

  5. Can I just repeat the comment I leave after everyone I've wanted to read it, reads it and loves it? Yes? Ok. :)

    YEA!!! So glad you loved it. I gush (and continue to gush) about this book because I think it's so smart and funny. I honestly haven't seen a negative review yet, which is unusual. I'm sure there are some out there...

    Anyway, I love your enthusiastic review!

  6. @Greg Zimmerman I was so happy that this book lived up to all of the hype that I had heard about it!

  7. @rhapsodyinbooks The dialogue is pretty clever but since I would love if dialogue were that clever IRL, I loved it!

  8. @Anne I love books that can make me laugh out loud no matter where I am (I think the people in Starbucks thought I was a nut but that's okay by me).

  9. @lsl_scrapper Living in DC, I love when authors show DC as being a city with much more to offer than the crazies on The Hill ;)

  10. @picky Come to think of it, I haven't seen a negative review yet either. I'd love to see what people who didn't like it had to say.


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