cover image Acts of Violet

Acts of Violet

Margarita Montimore. Flatiron, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-81506-4

A woman struggles to get out from under her famous older sister’s shadow in Montimore’s mesmerizing latest (after Oona Out of Order). Hairdresser Sasha Dwyer dreads the fast-approaching 10th anniversary of the day her older sister, Violet Volk, a popular but polarizing magician and 1990s pop culture icon, disappeared during a stage performance and never reemerged. Violet’s rabid fans—the “Wolf Pack”—continue to vilify Sasha for supposedly not looking hard enough to find Violet and failing to mourn her “the right way” after she was declared legally dead. As rumors about alleged Violet sightings swirl on social media, Sasha worries that they’ll give false hope to Quinn, Sasha’s college-age daughter, who adored Violet but remains ignorant of her aunt’s selfish and spiteful streak. However, Sasha’s efforts to leave her sister in the past unravel as synchronicities and more sightings point to Violet’s return. Supplementing the straightforward prose with a slew of narrative devices that include tabloid articles, email exchanges, and podcast transcripts, Montimore achieves a thoughtful, panoramic portrait of larger-than-life Violet while underscoring Sasha’s pain as she tries to grieve under an unforgiving public eye. This spellbinding effort delivers its fair share of magic. Agent: Philippa Sitters, David Godwin Assoc. (July)