This reading group guide for A Violet Season includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Kathy Leonard Czepiel. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
The violet industry is booming in 1898, and a Hudson Valley farm owned by the Fletcher family is turning a generous profit for its two oldest brothers. But Ida Fletcher, married to the black sheep youngest brother, has taken up wet nursing in order to help her family, and her daughter, Alice, has been ordered by her father to leave school and find work or an early marriage. As they near the brink of losing their share of the farm, the two women make increasingly great sacrifices for their family’s survival, which will take them from their small farming community to the dangerous streets of New York’s Lower East Side and set them against one another in a lifelong struggle for honesty and forgiveness. A tragedy and a love story, the narrative is told in the voices of both women. It unfolds against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century America, including the grueling world of women’s everyday work, the nation’s involvement in the Spanish-American War, and the details of life on a v