IN VIOLET'S WAKE by Robin Devereaux-Nelson


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A witty and insightful debut about the support group five ex-husbands form after their marriages to one alluring, albeit troubled, lady.

Husband No. 6, Marshall, knew about Violet’s past—her five previous marriages—but like any heartsick schmuck, he thought he’d be “the one.” But he wasn’t. When Violet leaves him, he convinces himself she is returning to Costa (husband No. 2) and decides to track him down at his Greek restaurant. After drunken accusations, a little brawling and embarrassed apologies, Marshall learns that Costa is now happily married with two kids. But boy, does he know what it’s like to be dumped by Violet. To help Marshall avoid what he went through (a flirtation with alcoholism and bankruptcy) and to serve as a cautionary tale, Costa drives them to see husband No. 3. Since Violet divorced him, Brian has retreated into a world dominated by his bipolar disorder and has since created a house covered in hubcaps. Surprisingly, the three enjoy commiserating, and soon, husband No. 4, Owen, a grumpy vet, and No. 5, Tim, an IT expert, are tracked down (husband No. 1, the wealthy and older Winston, died), and the five form a kind of support group–cum–super club. The mysterious Violet is seen only through the husbands’ recollections and the notes of her current therapist, though it is clear she has serious issues and has left a wide swath of heartache in her wake. Though the men try to convince Marshall he’s better off now that Violet is gone, secretly Owen has maintained a friendship with her over the years, hoping to one day win her back. In their last conversation, Violet confesses her latest obsession to Owen—she’s going after the “one who got away,” her high school crush, Jake. The men decide they have to warn Jake, if only they can find him before Violet does.

A charming anti-romance. Devereaux-Nelson’s group of guys learns a touching lesson from the girls: Sometimes, all you need is to talk it over with friends.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59376-534-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2013


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