Domestic Violets ~ Matthew Norman
If I could describe Domestic Violets in one word, it would be: hilarious.
If I could use two, they’d be: brutally honest
Matthew Norman’s Everyman tale of Thomas Violet, a D.C. copywriter, is anything but regular. In a story that reads like a cross between Office Space and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Norman seriously nails his first novel.
Stuck in a dead-end, lack luster job, Violet is forever in the shadow of his famous, prize-winning writer of a dad and in constant pursuit of some small strand of success to grasp that is truly his own. His marriage is floundering under the pressures of middle age and his relationships with his co-workers, specifically a perky 20 something, named Katie, leave much to be desired.
Domestic Violets reflects on those existential questions we hate to ask ourselves but always dwell on. Tom’s hopeless, yet relentless self-deprecation provides most of the witty prose for the novel. Though the writing is sparkling and well, novel-worthy, it could easily be the inner monologue of any cubicle-bound Joe with unfulfilled dreams.
Even though I weigh in about ten years younger than Tom and find myself in a very different life position, I have to say that there are inherent questions and problems brought up in the book that I found myself nodding along to. Insecurity and uncertainty are the major forces of nature on the surface but there is also an unrelenting voice of urgent self-fulfillment that carries Tom through the novel’s more impressive parts.
For some reason, this reminded me, at moments, of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad. I think most of that stems from the way in which both books look at stress, success, failure and the simple, mundane parts of life. I think that somewhere between Generation X and the Millennials (hey, that’s me!) we were all told that we should want “more” out of life. You know, like having a simple 9-5 wasn’t good enough and that we should strive to have the very best we could possibly imagine. For me, these books both reflect and poke fun of that impossible ideal.
I really enjoyed this and I hope that Matthew Norman has more of this wonderful stuff in the works. I highly recommend this to anyone who has ever had a job, a life or a dream. No, seriously. Just read it.
Oh, you also can’t just take my word for it. Check out Matthew Norman’s other tour stops:
About Matthew Norman
Matthew Norman is an advertising copywriter. He lives with his wife and daughter in Baltimore. Domestic Violets is his first novel.
Matthew’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 9: Rundpinne
Tuesday, August 9: Like Fire
Wednesday, August 10: Life In Review
Thursday, August 11: BookNAround
Friday, August 12: The House of the Seven Tails
Monday, August 15: Colloquium
Tuesday, August 16: Raging Bibliomania
Wednesday, August 17: Book Chatter
Thursday, August 18: Teresa’s Reading Corner
Monday, August 22: The Bodacious Pen
Tuesday, August 23: StephTheBookworm
Tuesday, August 23: Write Meg
Wednesday, August 24: I’m Booking It
Thursday, August 25: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, August 26: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Monday, August 29: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, August 30: My Life in Not So Many Words
Thursday, September 1: That’s What She Read