Songs from the Violet Cafe Fiona Kidman

29633832 Pub: Aardvark Bureau

From the author of The Infinite Air, a powerful story of women’s lives spanning decades and continents.

New Zealand, 1943. Violet Trench crosses Lake Rotorua with a small boy, Wing Lee, but rows back alone.

Twenty years later, the same body of water is the scene of an event that will have lasting repercussions for Violet and her employees at the cafe she runs now on the lake shore. The lives of these young people will diverge, their paths to independence taking them as far apart as Cambodia and the USA, but Violet’s influence will continue to mark both those who leave and those who stay behind.

This is the most perfect tale I have ever read. 

Violet Trench runs a Cafe, one which is named after her and one that is busy with all walks of life.

Set in different times but mainly in the 60’s,  and although New Zealand is prominent, Cambodia is important to knowing Violet and her life.

I got really involved with the lives of each character, their heartbreaks, the scandal and how they were connected to each other. Violet is an important  figure to all those who meet her, and although she runs the Violet Cafe with an iron rule she is, deep down, kind, sincere and a good judge of character. I absolutely adored her and along with Jessie, this for me was quite a poignant read. I identified with most of the ‘misfits’ and the ending was truly mesmerizing.

I must admit you do have to concentrate, else you will easily get lost, but Songs from the Violet Cafe is a beautiful and elegant read.

It is one for ‘grown-ups’, and along with historical fact it is quite simply a book you remember and I think it is one that I will re-read again and again.

4*/5

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