Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062065117, 329pp.
Publication Date: August 2011
Tom Violet always thought that by the time he turned thirty-five, hed 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. Hes got a wife, but their problems are bigger than he can even imagine. And hes written a novel, but the manuscript hes 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.
Toms life is crushing his soul, but hes decided to do something about it. (Really.) Domestic Violets is the brilliant and beguiling story of a man finally taking control of his own happinesseven if it means making a complete idiot of himself along the way.
“Norman controls his complicated story and handles its chaos and plot twists with a steady, funny hand.... this is a thoroughly entertaining, light but thoughtful read.”
“Domestic Violets is a fast, fun, hilarious read.”
-Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home
“Domestic Violets is a wonderfully readable, riotous story... told with humor and surprising intimacy. ”
-Susan Richards Shreve, author of A Student of Living Things
“Reminiscent of Richard Russo’s earlier work, Norman’s refreshingly witty style is perfectly suited to articulating the trials of a middle-aged cynic. Wonderfully fast-paced, hilariously genuine, difficult to put down, Domestic Violets is an ideal first novel.”
“Matthew Norman has written a dastardly fun satire of contemporary domestic life [with} surprising twists on all the old conventions and a fresh perspective on a literary foundation that hearkens back to Philip Roth, John Updike and John Cheever. An astoundingly good read!”
-Joshua Gaylord, author of Hummingbirds
“Norman’s debut novel is funny and incisive, and hard on sacred cows.”
“so real, so funny”
-Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. at Psychology Today
“Timing, so important in comedy, is also exacting in Mr. Norman’s expert hands...Domestic Violets leaves the reader satisfied by the intriguing plot written in a comic spirit; it also endears the author and hero to the reader for maximum poignancy.”
-New York Journal of Books
“All this misery makes for good comedy … charmingly drawn …”
-Washington Post on DOMESTIC VIOLETS
“Norman’s hilarious debut novel is a tale of a man’s middle-age quest to differentiate himself from his father and decide what’s worth changing and what’s worth keeping in his life.”
-Washington Independent Review of Books on DOMESTIC VIOLETS