Book Review: Haunting Violet


Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: Bloomsbury, 2011
Pages: 344
Genre: Historial Fiction, Paranormal, Murder Mystery, Young Adult
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4 out of 5 stars
Violet hates having to be a part of her mothers’ fake séances; she disagrees with taking advantage of grieving people. But, what is a sixteen year-old girl to do in Victorian England? She has no money, doesn’t know who her father is and apparently does not make a suitable governess. So she remains living with her mother and taking part in her mothers’ games, pretending spirits exist, because Violet doesn’t believe in the Spirit World… Until one day she is forced to confront the fact that they do indeed exist; her mother may be a fake, but Violet is not. Confronted with this truth is not easy for violet, made worse by the fact that the first ghost that wants Violets’ help, throws her into a murder mystery.

Reading Haunting Violet was like…coming home. Does that sound strange? I’m not sure how to explain this; it’s that comfortable feeling, the feeling of being at ease and just relaxing, knowing that you are going to love this book because a) it is by one of your favourite authors and b) it is set in Victorian England.

First of all – and I know I have said this before – Harvey creates some wonderfully strong and witty female characters. This book did not disappoint either; the MC Violet was strong but also vulnerable. I felt for her, having to deal with her mother and be dishonest to people when she didn’t want to. I admired her determination, that even though she was scared of her new-found gifts and the prospect of dealing with a murderer, she persevered.

I loved the friendship between Violet and Elizabeth who often made me laugh.

“She sucked in her breath. ‘I don’t like that word.’ She folded her arms. ‘There’s definitely a bastard in this situation, but it isn’t you.'”

I loved Violets’ relationship with Colin; I could almost hear his Irish accent – I like accents. Who I didn’t like so much was Xavier. He was always saying how pretty Violet was – like all she is, is a pretty face – he didn’t really know Violet.

Haunting Violet is an intriguing murder mystery which I very much enjoyed – I’m sad that it is a standalone novel and not part of a series.

Have you read this book? Has anyone read any Alyxandra Harvey books? Sadly, I don’t know many people who have. Do you like a bit of the supernatural mixed in with historical fiction?


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Haunting Violet

  1. I can handle having historical fiction and supernatural going hand in hand, in fact, I like it! This one sounds great, and I also love the feeling when you are with a safe author and don’t need to worry about liking it because you know you just /will./


    1. I’ve been interested in history for a while so I like it when books are set in another era –throw in a ghost, and it’s even better. I’m glad you like the sound of it — I hope you like it if you ever read it.


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