Imagine a fictional son of John Updike (Couples and Rabbit Updike, before he begin living entirely in his own head). Add healthy doses of Dave Barry and Scott Adams and sprinkle with a little hipster. This is Tom Violet, the snarky, mis-employed son of critically acclaimed, womanizing author Curtis Violet.
Matthew Norman’s Domestic Violets details the foibles of Tom Violet who, having grown up in the shadow of this literary giant opts to join the corporate world rather than compete on his father’s home turf. To say that Tom is ill-suited for corporate life is the grossest of understatement.
Tom’s subversive office antics save his sanity, but undermine his career. He tortures his corporate drone coworker, Greg, flirts dangerously with his young coworker Katie, while his indulgent boss Doug ignores much of his shenanigans because of Tom’s copy writing talent.
When Ian, British company president comes to town to shake things up, it means big changes for Tom, who describes Ian’s office to Katie:
“standard president stuff…Water slide. Gold-plated desk. Little Korean boy fanning him with a giant feather.”
I was frequently annoyed that my real life interfered with my ability to get back to Domestic Violets and find out how Tom would resolve his sexual and professional impotence and rebuild his career, marriage and relationship with his parents.
Definitely a fun, fast read with well-developed relatable characters and a page-turning plot.