I am desperately trying to get the edits for my new book, A Ghost and His Gold completed by the end of this week. As a result, I haven’t been on-line as much this week and expect that to continue over the next few days. I should be back to normal blogging sometime next week.
What Amazon says
Imagining Violet Married continues Violet’s story as she and her new husband, Frank Welsman, embark on married life at the turn of the 20th century. Like Part One, the story begins with a journey, their voyage from Liverpool to Canada. Then Violet writes to friends and family about the challenges of living with her in-laws, her first pregnancy and the growth of Frank’s career as a concert pianist. During these years, the family spends summers on an island in Muskoka. It’s gentle domestic drama with elements of social and musical history within the context of Toronto’s development as a musical centre in North America
This is the second book in the Imagining Violet series I have read and enjoyed. Imagining Violet Married picks up with Violet marrying her sweetheart, musician Frank Welsman, and moving from England to Toronto where he plans to build his music career. The author describes Violet’s journey across the ocean by ship and the newly married couples arrival in Toronto where they move in with Frank’s parents and his sister, Alice. His older sister, Olive is married and expecting her first child.
Learning to live with Frank’s parents and adapting to the more conservative social life of the wealthy in Toronto at the end of the 19th century takes a bit of time for Violet, but she does start to become involved in the music world and meet a few people. She realises she is pregnant quite soon after their arrival in Canada and I found it interesting to read about the rather strange life of an expectant mother from the privileged class at that time. Violet gives birth to a healthy son, Teddy, and she and Frank soon decide to move into their own home.
This series is reminiscent for me of the Little House series of books for children by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It tells the story of the life of Violet during the late Victorian era and vividly depicts life at the time when the conventions of society ruled and a married woman had to comply with them in all aspects of her life from entertaining on behalf of her husband to not appearing in public during her pregnancy. The book touches on the involvement of England and Canada in the Second Anglo Boer War and I was surprised at how supportive the wealthy class was of the English monarchy in Canada. The tribulations of life are also detailed included two of Violet’s four children contracting diphtheria and becoming very ill. Ill health was common at the time and there were few medical aids for illness and poor health.
I enjoyed the character of Violet and her growth as she evolves from a young newly married woman to a mother of four children and the wife of a prominent musician in the city. I also enjoyed meeting her in-laws, including Frank’s sister, Alice, who is a lovely young lady and quite supportive of Violet during the early days of arrival in Canada.
This is a slow and languid read that shares lots of intriguing detail about life during this period and I would recommend it to people who enjoy historical fiction along the lines of a fictionalised memoir.