Leslie Tate

Author and Poet

Close this search box.


(4 customer reviews)

The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister.

Telling stories runs in Beth’s family, so she keeps up with her friends, following their efforts to find love in a soulless, materialistic world. But Beth’s own passion for giving and commitment is pushed to the limit as she and James struggle with her divorce problems, each other’s children, and life-threatening illness. In the end, tested by pain, they discover something larger than themselves that goes beyond suffering and loss…

The ebook of ‘Violet’ is available here.




4 reviews for Violet

  1. Beth Copeland

    Violet is a captivating novel narrated through letters, diary entries, instant messages, poems, and other writings that create a multi-textured depth to the storyline. Leslie Tate’s fluid, musical sentence structure, vivid use of imagery and description, and skilful storytelling bring to life a memorable protagonist in the character of Beth Jarvis, an imaginative and sensitive woman. A pleasure to read! – Beth Copeland, Pushcart Prize nominated poet & winner of the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize

  2. David Guest, Berkhamsted Living

    The third, free-standing, part of Leslie’s trilogy opens with a thoroughly modern scenario: Beth, a middle-aged woman, sits in a restaurant waiting for her first meeting with a man of similar vintage with whom hitherto she has exchanged letters and phone conversations.
    From this point on, Violet becomes timeless. The events and relationships could be from any era. Beth herself is a weaver of stories; the possibility is hard to dismiss that the whole thing is in Beth’s head. In places the author hints as much: “In fact, I could almost say we imagined who we were.”
    There’s a dream-like quality to the careful precision of much of the description of places, events and conversations. Beth’s love stories – with Conrad first and, in her fifties, with James, are somewhat stylised. “Right from the start we chose to be in love,” she says of James, and there are echoes of Tristan and Isolt, Abelard and Heloise in their story.
    Beth punctuates her musings about her men, her families, her illness – in short, about her life – with stories in various forms. Some are contributed by others, some are her own, some are reports of dreams. Beth suggests that the theme of her story is love, but I’d say it’s imagination: where it comes from and what purpose it might serve. In Violet, it gives full value.

  3. Neil Beardmore (author Lemon Seas)

    Narrated by Beth Lavender, VIOLET follows Beth’s life as a Christian in a modern world. Written with great technical skill and flair by a transgender writer at the top of the game, VIOLET will appeal to readers interested in the impact of faith on character and how that tones her judgements. Leslie Tate’s use of language creates memorable scenes which resonate with poetic beauty, and the variety of registers used to tell the story is immaculate, making a flowing piece. See also the excellent memoir HEAVEN’S RAGE, which charts Leslie’s brutal outing as transgender while teaching in the intolerant eighties, how newspapers gloried in it and how he came through to become a writer of this calibre. Neil Beardmore (author LEMON SEAS)

  4. Toon_Camerado

    I get my next ESA disability benefif next Wednesday 7th August (last fortnight’s book allocation already spent). I’ll order a copy then!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *