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A Violet Season

A Violet Season

A Novel

  • reading group guide
A MOTHER’S CHOICES IN A T IME OF CRISIS THREATEN THE ONE PERSON SHE MEANS TO PROTECT—HER ONLY DAUGHTER— AND FORCE HER TO MAKE THE BOLDEST MOVE OF HER LIFE.

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 to help pay the bills, and her daughter, Alice, has left school to work. As they risk losing their share of the farm, the two women make increasingly great sacrifices for their family’s survival, sacrifices that will set them against each other in a lifelong struggle for honesty and forgiveness. A Violet Season is the story of an unforgettable mother-daughter journey in a time when women were just waking to their own power and independence.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451655063 | 
  • July 2012
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Video

Kathy Leonard Czepiel shares the rich Inspiration of A Violet Season

The Hudson Valley was once the Violet capital of the world inspiring Kathy Leonard Czepiel's novel A Violet Season.

Reading Group Guide

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.


Introduction

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 see more

About the Author

Kathy Leonard Czepiel
Chris Volpe

Kathy Leonard Czepiel

Kathy Leonard Czepiel is the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and teaches writing at Quinnipiac University. Her short fiction has been published in numerous journals including Cimarron Review,  Indiana Review, Calyx, Confrontation, and The Pinch. A native of New York State’s mid-Hudson Valley, she now lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

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