Shelf Control #337: Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Domestic Violets
Author: Matthew Norman
Published: 2011
Length: 329 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Tom Violet always thought that by the time he turned thirty-five, he’d have everything going for him. Fame. Fortune. A beautiful wife. A satisfying career as a successful novelist. A happy dog to greet him at the end of the day.

The reality, though, is far different. He’s got a wife, but their problems are bigger than he can even imagine. And he’s written a novel, but the manuscript he’s slaved over for years is currently hidden in his desk drawer while his father, an actual famous writer, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His career, such that it is, involves mind-numbing corporate buzzwords, his pretentious archnemesis Gregory, and a hopeless, completely inappropriate crush on his favorite coworker. Oh . . . and his dog, according to the vet, is suffering from acute anxiety.

Tom’s life is crushing his soul, but he’s decided to do something about it. (Really.) Domestic Violets is the brilliant and beguiling story of a man finally taking control of his own happiness—even if it means making a complete idiot of himself along the way.

How and when I got it:

I received this book as a gift, as part of a book group book swap several years ago.

Why I want to read it:

My book group used to do book exchanges once or twice a year, where we’d draw random names and then send that person a few gently used books that we hoped they’d enjoy. I received a copy of Domestic Violets as part of package that included a few other paperbacks — honestly, I don’t remember which other books came with this one, but I do know that I’ve yet to crack this one open!

I don’t know that I would have chosen Domestic Violets on my own — I’m not as drawn to stories about adults taking a shot at adulting as I am to other genres and story tropes.

This book has an average rating of 3.86 on Goodreads, and I see some very positive reviews from people whose tastes are usually in line with mine, so that’s a good sign. Plus, my book group friends all are avid readers with wide-ranging interests, and I know that if one of them thought this book was good enough to recommend, then it’s probably worth the time to read.

I’m feeling pretty on the fence, though — I’ve had this books for years now, and haven’t yet felt the urge to pick it up and get started. I’d love to hear other readers’ opinions!

What do you think? Would you read this book? And if you’ve read it, do you recommend it?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

7 thoughts on “Shelf Control #337: Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

  1. I think it sounds like it could be a fun read…but if it hasn’t peaked your interest yet (how many years have you had it?) then maybe it’s just not the book for you.

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