Haunting Violet was a great read! It is centred around the character of Violet Willoughby, a girl who has a new-found talent for seeing the dead. For years her mother has swindled grieving patrons at fake seances. Violet's mother was a brilliantly horrible piece of work: one of those characters you could thoroughly enjoy loathing!
Violet herself was great. I always like characters who love the books I love, and Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favourites! I'm not usually one for historical settings, but the nineteenth century setting of this novel provided the perfect atmosphere. I loved the parlour tricks the group used to simulate the visiting spirits, and the bitchy guests at the manor were brilliant little caricatures.
The romantic element of the book was predictable, but sweet. It was a bit of a shame that the fella's name was Colin, though. Poor dab. Much more enjoyable and dynamic was the friendship between Violet and her plump and energetic friend, Elizabeth.
I think, in a lot of ways, this was a brave book. The Victorian English setting, the old fashioned names and customs, as well as the "murder mystery" aspect of the narrative, are all things which probably should alienate a lot of younger readers. However, Harvey manages to balance these things with relatable, fairly modern characters, a healthy dose of paranormal intrigue, and a sweet romantic element.
Thoroughly enjoyable! Oh, and I love the dress the girl on the book cover is wearing. He he. Four stars!