Comments from Buyers

The comments below are from people who bought the book and have shared their appreciation of the content and quality of the book. Some comments were translated from French.


For all comments, please send to:

Lindy Miller, California

Thank you Francine. Excitement! The book arrived today (January 2, 2018). It is more than I hoped it would be - it is an amazing work. Thank your!


I am looking forward to studying and learning more about our beloved african violets, as well as getting re-acquainted with the French language. I have lost most of my ability to speak French but I can still understand when I hear it spoken and I can understand when I read; with the help of my former tutor and my neighbour I will become fluent again so I can fully appreciate your wonderful book.


Eileen Szoke, South Carolina

Francine, you did a great job on this book. An abundance of information on species & trailers plus beautiful pictures. I love the pictures on your web site also. This is a great contribution to all of us who love African violets. Thank you.


Ted Brown, Maryland

This is much more than just a very beautiful book. The information covers many areas not found in the other readings on African violets. I have found the information regarding trailers very useful. Regarding about the species plants has made me vow to acquire some for my collation. Thank you Francine for writing such a wonderful book.


Paula Bal, West Windsor, NJ

Hello, Francine. I had the opportunity to see your book on the educational table at a recent exhibition at the AV Club of Burlington NJ. I decided to buy my own copy that I received today. It is beautiful! The pictures are great! You did a fabulous job. You really outdid yourself on the book. I grow violets from the age of 10. In 1992, I made my own shelves neon and got started in this hobby background. I can identify in your foreword. I can not to delve deeper into the book. Thank you for all the time and effort it took to do it.


Stephanie Griffith, Philadelphia, PA

What a treasure trove of information! It is clear Francine worked diligently on this complicated subject. The photos and illlustrations augment the text wonderfully. This is a must read for every African violet enthusiast.


Norma Kunzel, Calgary, AB

Dear Ms. Pilon,

I ordered a second copy for my friend Betty. She was so impressed with your book. She has read my copy and feels it is so well written. She grows a number of species and Gesneriads and is very impressed with your knowledge. I should add my compliments to your effort to produce this book. It has taken much research and writing to get it right. Thank you.


Lise Ouellette, Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC

I want to thank you for your book. It has given me hours of fun. You shared your knowledge and have made available the world of the African violet culture. Congratulations for this great work and I look forward to see you.


Tess McLaughlin, Kansas City, USA

Francine - I got my new book yesterday morning. I have to admit I don't have a lot of interest in the species. BUT your section on growing and grooming trailers is wonderful! I only have three trailers and one especially looks like a wild bush. I will have to take time out and follow your instructions step-by-step working with it by my side. I really liked you page on bustle-back foliage plants and put a marker on it to find it easily again. So, thanks for going through all the work of putting out this great book.


Heather Eakins, Annapolis Valley African Violet Society, NS

Dear Francine, Having grown your trailer hybrids for many years, I was expecting a book on trailers. I realized after just a few pages that this book is so much more! I love growing species and in the last ten years there have been so many discoveries and changes, that it was definitely time for a new and comprehensive Saintpaulia book. Your book now lives on my coffee table, for it's beauty and content to be savoured. I highly recommend your book to all African Violet growers. Congratulations, well done!  Sincerely.


Brenda Petry, Violet Gallery, York Springs, PA

I love researching and reading about the history of African Violets. When I found Francine’s book I was amazed at the wealth of knowledge and background material that she has included in the book, Saintpaulia, the history and origins of the African violet. The book’s emphasis is on the species and how the genetic richness has resulted in the lovely plants we grow today. A goal of mine is to try to make sure that every violet grower includes a species in their collection! After you read her book, you will see the importance of growing the species. This book covers the history, species, original 10, culture, and care of African Violets. If you are interested in hybridizing, that is covered as well. Francine has a special love of trailing violets, so there is a chapter on growing and caring for them. Having grown her hybrids, I know from experience that she has been able to cultivate some wonderful varieties of trailers. You won’t be sorry if you add this to your collection of good violet books.


Darlene Allen, Allen, TX

I received my copy of "Saintpaulia" by Francine Pilon today and I do not recall ever seeing a publication as comprehensive as this in all my many years of collecting. For the African Violet collector, whether a species lover or a lover of hybrids, this is a must have. Believe me, you can pack all the rest of your books up and put them in storage. Just the photographs alone are well worth the price of the book - there are pictures of species that I have never seen before as well as a most insteresting dialogue of the history of our beloved African Violets. It is absolutely captivating and once you open it up, you do not want to put it down. The book also includes numerous photos of todays gorgeous hybrids. I cannot even imagine all the time and research that went into the publication of this wonderful piece of art. I applaud you Francine!!


Doris Brownlie, Mississauga, ON

Hi, African violet enthusiasts,

I bought the book called Saintpaulia from Francine at the Detroit convention and consider it to be a very complete encyclopedia of African violets, their history, care and instructions on how to bring them to show quality. If you had no other book this one would be sufficient. A ton of research has gone into the production of this book and it is well worth the money and time spent. Thank you so much, Francine, for all the time and effort!


Paul F. Kroll, East Aurora, NY

One of the highlights of the joint AVSA-AVSC convention in Detroit was the unveiling of Francine Pilon's book Saintpaulia: The History and Origins of the African Violet in its long-awaited English version. I first saw the book a year ago, in its original French language version. I immediately encouraged Francine to work on an English language version. The wait for this version was very well worth it! It is truly a work of art, with wonderful photographs and easily read text revealing all the details which the title implies. This book deserves a place in your library as a marvelous reference and just plain good reading.


Pat Wegner, Petawawa, ON

I just finished reading my copy of your book. Francine you wrote an excellent book. I had been waiting to purchase a book on African Violets for a long time, but never really found the right one for me, now I did. Loved all of the pictures.


Pierre-Luc Frigon, Montreal, QC

Very beautiful book. A reference for those who grow violets. Thank you Ms. Pilon us to share your knowledge and send us your passion.


Line B., Montreal, QC

Hi Francine, you know your book, I read it almost entirely. I carried around in buses so often, he has already traveled a lot. I also want to tell you this: Thank you for sharing such great knowledge with us. The amount of work involved is not measurable. Congratulations and thank you on behalf of all lovers of African violet. What you sow is more than a hybrid, it is a writing that will always remain the bible of the African Violet. You did more than you think to the world of horticulture and for fans. Thank you for all that.


Linda Marquis, Librairie René Martin, Rene Martin Bookstore, Joliette, QC

Hello Ms. Pilon, About your book, it is very beautiful. We find a wealth of information that we do not find in any other book.