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 arch nemesis 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.
I have to admit something... I judge books by their covers (hence the blog name). I also have to admit that more than once I have passed up books that I probably would have loved just because the cover did not grab my attention. This happened with Domestic Violets. I had seen this book floating around online and even passed on entering a giveaway or two for this very reason. Then I had the opportunity to take part in an online book club discussion and receive a free copy to read, review and discuss along with the group. I have to say, I am so glad I gave this book a chance!
Tom Violet is a snarky, sarcastic and hilarious character. I couldn't help but laugh out loud repeatedly while reading this book. If he were a real person, I would want to hang out with him. Tom was so believable as a character that at times I forgot I was reading fiction and not a memoir. Nothing can go right for the poor guy. Not only is he battling a mild case of erectile dysfunction, but things are just not going right in his marriage and things are about to get crazy at the office. The only thing keeping Tom sane is his crush on his young co-worker and his constant need to irritate Gregory, his nemesis.
Not only is Tom completely miserable at his job, but he also has to deal with the fact that his father, Curtis, is an extremely accomplished writer and very famous while Tom hasn't even told his wife that he finished his own book. In fact, Curtis doesn't even know that he has been writing one. His father also happens to be quite the self-absorbed ladies man and is always getting Tom into unpleasant (but hilarious) situations.
I also couldn't get enough of Brandon, Tom's long-time friend and the son of his father's agent. When you first meet him, you think Brandon is just going to be the stereo-typical, overly flamboyant gay side character. But he really isn't. He is witty, rude and a lot of fun to read.
My only issue, and it has nothing to do with the actual contents of the book, is the cover. I don't think this cover is catchy enough and I hate to see this book get passed over because of it. Please don't make the same mistake I did and skip by this book. It is definitely worth the read.
Domestic Violets was funny, quick paced, and a very convincing read. Anyone who has ever worked in an office environment will enjoy watching Tom find new ways of torturing Gregory and find themselves pulling for him. The characters are well developed, interesting and real. Even though I figured out where the story was going before it got there, I still enjoyed the ride. Honestly, I can't recommend this book enough.
** I received this review copy for free in exchange for my honest review. This had absolutely no effect on my opinion in any way. All views expressed are my own.