Imagining Violet

Mary E. Hughes
Narrator: Jacqueline de Boer

HISTORICAL: It is 1891, Violet Courtenaye is an incredibly talented violinist determined to make her place in the world. She’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime to audition for the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory in Germany. To prepare, she must practice endlessly with the best tutors in the city. If she succeeds, she will be one of the few female concert violinists. A number of obstacles stand in her way beyond her gender. The city is alive and full of distractions! Then there is her handsome tutor, her quirky landlady, and a rather delightful Canadian piano player. With the demands of her teachers high, she must find a way to achieve her ambitious goals, but not lose herself along the way.

“Imagining Violet” is a bright, creative, historical tale! Ms. Hughes has put in a great many small details that make the world she’s created vibrant and full of life. Told in the form of letters, the story covers Violet’s journey through music school. Because the book is told only through letters, there are hardly any scenes that involve dialogue or show any other characters. Everything is told through Violet’s account, and some readers might find this off-putting, delivering more description than action. In a few places, the story slows a bit as well. However, Violet as a character is strong and engaging to read, with interesting observations that carry the book through to the end.

Ms. Boer’s performance as Violet is energetic! She is able to capture the innocent and lighthearted essence of Violet’s character perfectly! This portrayal keeps some of the slower parts moving and creates an emotional connection to the events of the book. Readers will instantly connect with her voice and become immersed in the story because of it!

This is a great book for readers who enjoy historical fiction!

Chelsea Andersen