The Secret Life of Violet Grant

By Beatriz Williams

ISBN13: 9780399162176

Author website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale.

Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.


The Secret Life of Violet Grant kept me up. I could not put it down!! I adore main character Vivian Schuyler. Her moxie is so refreshing and entertaining. I want to be her best friend!! I loved all the characters in this story which is told in two different time periods. Vivian lives in the mid-60s and her aunt lived through the early 1900s. Vivian is from money and defying her family and their traditions by taking a job at the stylish and popular magazine Metropolitan. She befriended the daughter of the company in college just so she would have an edge to get this job. She is strong willed and determined. A package arrives at her newly rented apartment and thus begins the journey to find answers about an aunt she never knew she had. The package is a suitcase with the name of Violet Grant. The reporter in Vivian has to get to the bottom of this surprising parcel.

When Vivian asks her family about this here to for not mentioned aunt, no one knows a thing about her. All her mother cares about is the nice doctor Vivian met at the post office. Twists and turns and intersecting story lines abound in this fun romp through war, espionage, family relations, and the burgeoning 1960s. The information she digs up about her aunt includes her disastrous marriage to a lecherous older scholar, her scientific knowledge, escapees, all of it is amazing and better than a movie. Beatriz Williams must have done some amazing research in not only war time in the 1900s, but also the 60s. Everything was spot on true to the period even when she inserted some famous scientist. There was not one moment that didn’t sparkle and gleam with entertaining writing. The story flowed with wonderful and exciting action.

Vivian is a character that draws the reader in and makes them want to be a permanent resident in this amazing novel. I want to hang out with both Vivian and Violet. They are amazing. Characters that inspire and entertain. The Secret Life of Violet Grant is an outstanding novel full of intrigue, intellect, romance, deviates, scientists, spies, and free love, well you name it and this book has it. I would recommend this thrilling novel to anyone that loves a wonderful read that pulls you in and does not let go. I did not want it to end. The author’s writing style is delightful. The switch from the 60s to the early 1900s is flawless. With a main character that is one of the most enjoyable I have found in a long time, this book is fabulous. I cannot say enough about this wonderful story. I love, love, love it!!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*