A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
Set in Victorian London, Memory of Violets is the story of Flora and Rosie Flynn, two young girls living in extreme poverty in the slums of
. From the moment Rosie was born Flora loved
and looked after Rosie as they sold flowers on the streets to passersby. Flora walked with a crutch and Rosie was
blind, as were many, many of the orphaned children in the same circumstances. London
One day Rosie is abducted, leaving a frantic Flora to search for Rosie the rest of her life. And yes, Flora did have a life. Mr. Shaw dedicated his life to training the crippled, blind orphans from the streets in making silk flowers in his factory. He housed the girls, fed them well, and trained them in a craft thus saving their lives. He loved them all and his flower village grew. Flora was rescued. But she never stopped her search for Rosie.
Rosie, too, was rescued and her life was very different from Flora’s. She escaped her adbuctor and hid in the carriage of a well to do woman who took her in and raised her.
Enter Tilly. After an accident at home where her sister was badly injured and Tilly never forgiven, she leaves her home in
Yorkshire and takes
a position as a house mother in one of the dormitories in the flower village in
. Tilly makes a discovery of a memory book
written by Florrie as she recounts her life in the flower village and her life
long search for Rosie. Tilly is
determined to try to try to use the book to solve the mystery of Rosie’s
The world of the street flower sellers, the flower village, the art of making silk flowers, this was something I knew nothing about , making for me, a fascinating read.