DownloadThe Portobello Bookshop Gift Guide 2023


Alex Hyde author


Publisher:Granta Books

Published:2nd Feb '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Violets cover

A moving, lyrical debut novel of motherhood, loss and the interconnected lives of two women during the dying days of the Second World War.

An astonishing debut novel of motherhood and loss in the dying days of the Second World War 'Moving, graceful... Violets has a compelling, quiet power all the way to its exquisitely affecting end' Megan Hunter, author of The Harpy and The End We Start From 'Stunning and original... Written in pristine prose, it reminded me of the possibilities of language' Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory A young woman, Violet, lies in a hospital bed in the closing days of World War Two. Her pregnancy is over and she is no longer able to conceive. With her husband deployed in Burma and her friends caught up in transitory love affairs, she must find a way to put herself back together. In a small, watchful town in the Welsh valleys, another Violet contemplates the fate she shares with her unborn child. Unwed, an overseas posting offers a temporary way out. Plunged into the heat and disorder of Naples, her body begins to reveal the responsibility it carries even as she is drawn into the burnished circle of a charismatic new friend, Maggie. Between these two Violets, sung into being like a babe in a nursery rhyme: a son. As their lives begin to intertwine, a spellbinding story of women's courage emerges, suffused with power, lyricism and beauty, from an exhilarating new voice in British fiction. 'Beautiful, inventive and deeply moving' Liz Berry 'A novel of taut symmetry and dissonance... Alex Hyde's prose is rhythmically acute and emotionally layered. This is a subtle and daring book' Margo Jefferson

Hypnotic... its accumulative power will have you sobbing by the end * Evening Standard *
I loved this moving, graceful novel, which writes through the years with a rare deftness of touch. Violets has a compelling, quiet power all the way to its exquisitely affecting end -- Megan Hunter, author of The Harpy
Graceful... inventive... Babies - unborn, unwanted, mourned, impossible to conceive - link both Violets in a narrative that is skilfully progressed over the course of this quietly surprising book * The Irish Times *
[An] assured debut... Hyde's ingenious plotting is matched by the inventiveness of her buoyant, verse-like, subtly rhyming prose -- Stephanie Cross * Daily Mail *
Short, expressionist... profound... * Financial Times *
A tender meditation on motherhood...lyrical ... Hyde has found a way to make the past speak presciently to our times while also maintaining a playful relationship to a story that becomes unexpectedly moving, warm-hearted despite its flinty poetic prose -- Lara Feigel * Guardian *
I was deeply moved by Violets, a stunning and original portrayal of womanhood and life's many iterations. Written in pristine prose, it reminded me of the possibilities of language, of the beauty, heartbreak and extraordinary courage found in everyday life -- Elizabeth Macneal
An intricately composed and thoroughly corporeal portrait of the intertwined lives of two women during the war. Hyde is clearly a writer of talent and ambition: Violets suggests a glittering career ahead -- Alex Preston * Observer *
[W]onderfully lyrical and insightful * i Newsletter *
One of the most beautiful, haunting, heart breaking and hopeful books I have read in quite some time. It is a book that made my cry, frankly... I have experienced nothing like the main characters in these pages...I couldn't put it down -- A ‘New Favourite Book’ by Simon Savidge
Violets is a touching tribute, deftly written, to all women left struggling in similar situations -- Susie Mesure * Spectator *
A beautiful, inventive, and deeply moving book about the secrets and sacrifices women make on their journeys to motherhood. Through lucid, lyrical prose, unafraid of the body and all its messiness and longing, the stories of these two courageous Violets, conjuring a child into being in the last days of wartime, captured my heart and imagination. -- Liz Berry
Violets is a novel of taut symmetry and dissonance. War, marriage, affairs, death, childbirth: all are here, dissolving the gender divisions we still impose on these subjects. Alex Hyde's prose is rhythmically acute and emotionally layered. This is a subtle and daring book. -- Margo Jefferson
Loosely based on the adoption of the author's father, this lyrical, affecting début weaves together the stories of the two women involved...In stripped-back prose that focuses on the women's interior lives, this notable début is one for fans of Max Porter and Megan Hunter. -- Alice O'Keeffe, Editor's Choice * Bookseller *
A story of motherhood and loss told in lean, spare prose * Bookseller *
Breathtaking... powerful and poignant * Sunday Post *
A brilliantly constructed novel that says more by saying less... the poetic heartbeat of the narrative means that this is very much more than a partially fictionalised family memoir -- Bill Borrows * Radio Times *
A thoroughly humane, intimate, even celebratory novel... Its interwoven form and sympathetic tone, insists on connection * TLS *

ISBN: 9781783787289

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 15mm

Weight: 184g

256 pages