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Vera Violet



Original Language: English | 280 pp. | January 2020

 2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French, and Nordic rights.


Vera Violet is, in a word, totally authentic.. . the language is jaw-droppingly lyrical and gritty at the same time . . . the characters completely un-romanticized, but genuinely loved by their creator. And while the elevator pitch is not going to knock anybody’s socks off: it’s about a group of marginalized youths from shelton, dealing with drug addiction, financial insecurity, etc, etc, I’m telling you, there’s something so visceral and stirring about the experience . . .” —Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy

Hopelessness dims this poignant tale of a young woman’s tumultuous, modern American life.  An intense, lyrical portrait of America’s vulnerable underbelly. — Kirkus Reviews

Vera Violet recounts the dark story of a rough group of teenagers growing up in a twisted rural logging town. There are no local jobs. There is no sense of safety. But there is a small group of loyal friends, a truck waiting with the engine running, a pair of boots covered in blood, and a hot 1911 with a pearl pistol grip…

We are introduced to this crew and the hardscrabble life that shaped them through the reminiscences of Vera Violet. When we first meet her Violet is driving her pickup through the Montana mountains in a vain attempt to outrun the violent episode that has recently torn apart the close knit group and thrown Violet’s life into further chaos: “The Montana sky opened up and gave me snow. Snow to numb my wounds. Snow to cover my footprints.”

Peterson’s lyrical prose and the novel’s scattershot narrative structure deftly echo the narrator’s confused efforts to detail the lives of her neighborhood friends, to honor the treasured memories of her troubled brother and to make sense of the novel’s climactic events.

And then there is the enigmatic Jimmy James, love of Vera’s life and the book’s unlikely moral center.

Melissa Peterson has been published by Camas Magazine, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Oregon Quarterly, and Seal Press among others. Vera Violet is her first novel..