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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

Publisher: Penguin (Plume)
Genre: fiction
Paperback, 293 pages
Book Source: the author
My Rating: 95/100

From the Penguin:

A heartbroken woman stumbled upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author.
In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.

Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily's good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

My Thoughts:

This was an adorable read, and quite the page turner.  When we meet Emily she is not in a good place emotionally.  Her husband is a butt head, she feels she has failed at life, and she is down in the dumps.  But once she goes to Bainbridge Island to visit her dear aunt Bee, Emily turns a corner.

She reconnects with a teenage fling, meets a new guy, and although she is nervous being newly single and all, she handles herself well.  Her aunt Bee is awesome and supportive.  Bee is like the mom Emily never really had.  Emily has a mom but their relationship has never been great.  Hmm why is that?

During her visit, Emily discovers a diary revealing a story that is both heartbreaking and mysterious.  Emily decides to  figure out who the writer is, and if it ties in with why Bee and her friend Evelyn are evasive about the past.  This mysterious woman has something to do with Emily's own history, but it is not until the end that all is revealed. 

Most of the story takes place on Bainbridge Island, and let me just say that I have to visit this place someday.  The way Emily feels when she is there; the absolute calmness and serenity that permeates her; that Emily belongs there, I can totally relate to.  This aspect also appealed to me greatly.

I loved this book!  It was a page turner that kept me guessing for many reasons: who is the woman, what are the circumstances of these events, will Emily find love.  Granted, the finding of a diary with a mystery attached may be a bit cliche, but I could have cared less.  Jio made me care about these characters and what happened in the past.  Plus I was highly entertained along the way.  I could have finished this book in a weekend but I chose to drag it out and savor it.  You will find love, joy, and heartbreak in this story.  It makes you think about things too, or that could be just me.  Either way if Sarah Jio pens another novel, you can be sure that I will read it with out hesitation. 

Here is the author's website:

And the book trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Thanks again to the author for sending me a copy of her book.

2011 Challenges Met: Mystery & Suspense, HF, Take a Chance, Reading Resolutions