Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

5 Star

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. 

Lydia - 5 Star

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?  Well, The Violets of March has one of the most magnificent covers I have ever laid eyes on. It’s simple, the dash of purple amidst the muted tones is stunning and the weathered and layered feel is fitting for the novel.  I had high hopes when I cracked the cover based on the gorgeousness of it and I wasn’t disappointed.

Firstly, still on the cover, I will try not to complain about my copy being defaced in an accident involving a cottage and vodka.  In my defence…the book was so lovely that it remained on the coffee table to sneak peaks at during spare moments! The Violets of March is a delightful, effortless read with an astounding setting that made me want to pick up and move somewhere with a beach immediately.  The intrigue surrounding the 1940’s journal was as easy to be drawn into as Emily’s present day story and I had no difficulty moving back and forth between the two.  

As someone who has taken the last year to do exactly what Emily has done, I appreciated this story. I loved that, although you could tell she was hurting, she didn’t come across as whiny or feeling too sorry for herself and Emily’s desire to reconnect with herself resonated deeply with me. Every character was portrayed perfectly and I especially grew attached to Aunt Bee’s character. Her strength and spunk reminded me of one of my own Grandmothers at times and I knew from several conversations with her before she passed, and some overheard ones as a young child that I now understand, that everyone has a past and stories that not everyone is privy to. This personal knowledge drew me even deeper into the novel and I couldn’t wait to discover what would transpire with Emily and what she would unearth between the pages of the journal.

There were twists and turns in this novel that I wasn’t expecting and some that I had figured out, although this didn’t detract from my enjoyment.  The mystery, romance and heartbreak involved in this novel had me in tears at times and I had difficulty setting this novel down. 

This was an outstanding debut and I can’t wait to devour more from Sarah Jio.

Kathryn - 5 Star

Loved it- really really loved this novel in fact and I am so sad it’s over!  I was up far too late reading it and I even tried to read a page or two in between taking care of my toddler and newborn- so it was definitely a great read.  I know Lydia loved the cover but it really didn’t do a lot for me so I’m glad I didn’t judge this one by the image on the front!

Mostly I think that the unfolding of the story was incredibly well thought out- there were enough little hints and details dropped to have some readers over analysing everything (that was me) and other readers pulled along gently to the end (hopefully that will be you so you can get more sleep than I did).

I loved the description of the island and could picture everything perfectly in my mind, this extended to the houses, the beach and the people.  I loved the place so much I would love to visit it, find all these people and hopefully be invited in for tea.

My only negative was that main character Emily left me a bit cold at the very start but I warmed to her as soon as she went to visit her aunt Bee on the island.  I think Emily is supposed to be a bit tricky to love initially and this is why her aunt and her friend Annabelle are both trying to have her own her emotions from her recent separation.

The novel is both sad and joyful and invoked many tears and giggles. I recommend it wholeheartedly but will not give away too many details to ruin it for the next reader.
Thank you to Sarah Jio for providing our review copy! All opinions are our own.

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  1. I saw this book in the bookstore and was debating reading it. Thank you so much for reviewing it because now I want to read it. It sounds like a book you cam pour yourself into and enjoy every minute of. Thanks again!

  2. Glad we could tip the scale! Hope you enjoy!!!



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